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EU Ministers and MEPs contaminated by chemicals - de Brún

21 October, 2004

Bairbre de Brún MEP has called for strong European legislation under REACH proposals, to protect people from harmful chemical contamination.

Ms de Brún was speaking after a WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) report identified a wide range of industrial chemicals in the blood of thirteen EU ministers and previously thirty nine MEPs. The WWF had conducted a study on the effects of chemicals which exist in some fire-resistant sofas, non-stick pans, grease proof-pizza boxes, flexible PVC, fragrances and pesticides. A number of MEPs and EU Ministers had volunteered to take part in the survey to ascertain levels of chemical contamination in their blood.

The blood tests, which took place in December 2003 and June 2004, are one of the WWF's contributions to the debate within the EU on REACH, the proposed new chemicals law.

Ms de Brún said:

"The continued release of these contaminants in the environment and subsequent health risks cannot be allowed to continue unchecked. The recent study is an indication of the effects of chemical contaminants in the bloodstream of the wider population. These studies had shown an average of 37 chemicals in the blood of various EU Ministers. If these are the results amongst adults then we can only wonder about the effects upon our children.

I pledge to use my position on the Committee of Environment, Health and Public Safety in favour of strong measures to ensure that dangerous chemicals are no longer introduced into the environment. I will work for the implementation of strong, progressive, public safety based legislation in the proposed new system; Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH)" ENDS

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