Rare earth elements found in FCMs, recycled plastics

Researchers at University of Plymouth find rare earth elements in 24 of 31 tested products including children’s toys, food contact materials (FCMs); highest abundance in plastic recycled from electronic waste; authors suggest plastic recycling process as source for contamination; suggest elements as indicators for presence of other additives such as brominated flame retardants

Benelux demand market withdrawal of bamboo plastics

Belgium, Luxembourg, and Netherlands (Benelux) publish joint letter calling for market withdrawal of ‘bamboo melamine plastics’; reminds readers that products do not comply with article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 10/2011; Benelux national authorities plan to reinforce market controls from second quarter of 2021, pursue violators

ECHA finds health benefits outweigh costs of REACH restrictions

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) study analyzes costs and benefits of REACH restrictions proposed during 2016-2020; finds public health benefits of €2.1 billion per year outweigh costs of €0.5 billion per year; restrictions protect over seven million EU citizens from cancers, sexual development disorders, asthma, skin allergies; prevents annual release of 100 000 tons of polluting chemicals

Krebsliga hosts Environment and Cancer Forum

Krebsliga (Swiss Cancer League) forum discusses interaction of environmental factors and cancer; brings together experts from academia, non-governmental organizations, and industry; addressed topics including endocrine disruptors, migration, risks posed by chemical mixtures

Front-runners in chemical footprinting report 2020

Clean Production Action releases annual results of its Chemical Footprint Project (CFP); finds seven “front-running” companies scoring over 80% have senior management engagement in chemical management, public disclosure of restricted substances, measure chemical footprint using the CFP reference list, invest in safer alternatives

BFFP: 13 key investments to combat plastic pollution

Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) recommends 13 key investments for US federal action; includes funding for multi re-use facility infrastructure, Environmental Protection Agency , research, government, and educational institutions; discourages further investments in chemical recycling, waste-to-energy/fuel technologies, carbon sequestration, downcycling, production, distribution and export of plastics

CHEM Trust launches chemical mixtures resources page

Civil society organization develops resources webpage dedicated to recent scientific research and policy initiatives related to chemical mixtures; provides overview and links to scientific projects and policy reports

European Parliament calls for reduced material use, better ecodesign

European Parliament approves report calling for European Commission to adopt binding targets and expanded EcoDesign Directive within Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP), aims to reduce overall consumption and material use; proposes solutions to problems of higher prices for recycled materials and low availably of high-quality recycled materials

GUTS model adapted to chemical mixtures

Study in Environmental Science Technology on adapted General Unified Threshold model for Survival (GUTS) for environmental risk assessment of chemical mixtures; includes time dimension, approach can be extended to multiple compounds, evaluate synergistic or additive interaction

Chemicals change gut microbiome in children

Study in Environmental Science Technology Letters investigates presence of semi-volatile organic chemicals (SVOCs) and associated changes in microbiome of 79 children with 43 SVOC biomarkers detected; study includes phthalates, phenols, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); less abundant microbes replaced due to higher sensitivity to chemicals, increased abundance of dehalogenation bacteria observed; more extensive studies needed to verify results and understand human health implications