In an article published on September 5, 2018, the non-governmental organization Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) informed about a report on “Circular economy and health: Opportunities and risks,” published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in August 2018 (FPF reported). HEAL emphasized that “hazardous substances should not survive in recycled products,” because otherwise “a circular economy could also contribute to the chemical pollution.”
The summary by the WHO explained that the new report aims to “fram[e] the transition [to a circular economy] in a health context” in order to “set the scene for further policy development, the assessment of research needs and stakeholder engagement in key health implications.” The report shows that, while “the transition to a circular economy provides a major opportunity to yield substantial health benefits,” it also carries “risks of adverse and unintended health effects,” for example, “in processes involving hazardous materials.”
The WHO’s report identifies “chemicals in food packaging” as one “source of potential health implications” due to direct exposure to chemicals.
HEAL (September 5, 2018). “WHO on circular economy and health: opportunities and risks.”
WHO (2018). “Circular economy and health: Opportunities and risks.” (pdf)