An article published on September 26, 2019 by the NGO International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) focuses on the ongoing discussion of whether “polymers should be registered under the EU chemicals legislation REACH, which means that information on their hazards for human health and the environment needs to be provided” (FPF reported).
ChemSec’s Senior Chemicals Advisor Jerker Ligthart argues that, because of the decision to postpone REACH registration of polymers, taken back in 2007, we now “lack a lot of vital information about them.” However, “there is no real scientific basis” for assuming that polymers are “too big to have a harmful effect on the human body,” since also “bigger [than 1000 Da] molecules may be toxicologically relevant” (FPF reported).
One clear advantage of REACH registration for polymers is that it will “lead to increased knowledge about how polymers are used, the toxic properties of them, how persistent they are and what happens when they break down. It would give us a much better understanding of the plastics that are being used in the EU today.” Further, registering polymers in REACH would bring their “legislative treatment . . . in line with all other chemicals, something that is way overdue,” Ligthart emphasizes.
Jerker Ligthart (September 26, 2019). “Size doesn’t matter – not even for chemicals.” ChemSec