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17 September 2010

Control of Biocides in the European Union - Collegium Ramazzini Call for Action

The European Parliament and the Council are considering the European Commission's draft biocide regulation (COM(2009) 267 final), which is intended to replace the current EU Biocidal Products Directive 1998/8/EC. Following the 2008 Statement of the Collegium Ramazzini on the control of pesticides in the European Union in 2008, the Executive Council of the Collegium has issued a series of related recommendations on the control of biocides, arguing that biocides need stricter regulation than the current proposal before the European Parliament and Council contains. Download Collegium Ramazzini Call for Action on Biocides in the EU.

Summary Reccomendations:
1) stringent "cut-off" criteria to eliminate the most hazardous biocides from products and the environment, including carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction (categories 1, 2, & 3 under current Directive 67/548/EEC), developmental neurotoxicity, or immunotoxicity.
2) consistent substitution regime that applies to all biocidal products with candidates for substitution, including non-chemical options.
3) derogation or dispensation from the above restrictions only when there are no appropriate alternatives to control a serious public health danger, and only when application of such products is performed by professional, qualified users and accompanied by risk reduction measures.
4) approval of nano biocides only if their safety is well documented, with clear labelling.
5) strengthening of data requirements to secure that relevant risks associated with intended biocide usages are detected, such as developmental neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption and the effects of mixtures.
6) support for sustainability of biocidal products, with preventive and non-chemical measures as the preferred option, as well as minimised biocide use in public areas which are frequented by vulnerable groups or large crowds.



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