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ANEC maps a route towards safer products


02 Jun 2014


Health & Consumers
Science & Policymaking

Today, ANEC issues an updated position on achieving a strategy to address chemicals in products comprehensively. Our paper explores how current regulatory requirements can be enhanced and outlines a programme for key consumer product areas.

Our position paper ‘Hazardous chemicals in products. The need for enhanced EU regulations’ further details the proposals expressed during the ANEC/ASI Consumer Council conference held in October 2013, and the resulting common declaration of our recommendations to the European Commission.

We have developed a programme of regulatory chemical requirements for products that need either to be implemented or revised as soon as possible. The proposals included cover these highest priority areas:

  • Materials in contact with food or drinking water
  • Emissions to indoor air
  • Clothing and other textiles
  • Toys
  • Child use & care articles
  • Packaging
  • Tattoo inks
  • Nanomaterials (in various products)

In addition, the paper lists some other product areas for investigation as a second priority.

Stephen Russell, ANEC Secretary-General, commented, ”The programme we outline in this paper can contribute to the goals of the EU 7th Environment Action Plan (EAP)[1], an initiative we applaud for its recognition of the need to assess and minimise ‘risks for the environment and health, in particular in relation to children, associated with the use of hazardous substances, including chemicals in products’ by 2020”.

The analysis of the present European Regulatory Framework with respect to chemicals in products, and the proposed strategy, are inspired by studies commissioned by the Consumer Council of the Austrian Standards Institute (ASI).

Chair of the ANEC Sustainability Working Group, Dr Franz Fiala, said, “We have long affirmed that a community-wide systematic approach to address chemicals in products relevant for consumers is dramatically needed. The current provisions at the European level are insufficient. We welcomed the intent of the 7th EAP for the European Union to define a comprehensive approach in this direction. We now suggest which are the first steps needed to cover gaps in regulation and achieve the long term goal of a non-toxic environment”.

The ANEC position paper can be found at


About ANEC
ANEC is the European consumer voice in standardisation, defending consumer interests in the processes of technical standardisation and conformity assessment, as well as related legislation and public policies.
ANEC was established in 1995 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law and is open to the representation of national consumer organisations in 33 countries.
ANEC is funded by the European Union and EFTA, with national consumer organisations contributing in kind. Its Secretariat is based in Brussels.