Protect the Public From Dangerous Toxic Chemicals

Target: Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Goal: Enforce a strict chemical regulation policy in the European Union.

The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation was adopted more than fifteen years ago by the European Union. Since the REACH regulation was put in place, new chemicals have been introduced in the marketplace, which need to be adequately accounted for alleged toxic effects.  A revision was proposed by the Commission late last year, but it was eventually postponed. The process is currently on the table, but no definitive timelines have been set to conclude. Nevertheless, campaigners allege that the postponement may be a calculated attempt to water down the regulation and to follow up with the influential chemical lobby in the European Union.

The reform was promised as a part of the European Commission’s 2020 Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, a key parameter of the European Green Deal. The sustainability strategy was an important milestone towards achieving a ‘toxic-free environment’ and the ‘zero pollution ambition’ of the Union. The deferral in the REACH reform process may indicate a lack of goodwill and narrow political ambitions to stand in the way of public health concerns.

Mariana Goulart, policy officer at the European Environmental Bureau, expressed concerns that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen might be apprehensive about alarming the German chemical lobby ahead of the European Parliament elections next year. The chemicals sector of Germany, Leyen’s home country, holds 10% of its economy. Goulart stated that the apprehension is especially relevant because Leyen is reaching the end of her term as the President, and “her own political future may depend on concluding her EU mandate on good terms with her fellow German politicians.” Goulart also stated that the delay may indicate a ‘game over’ for the REACH reform during the current term of the Commission.

The commitment to a toxic-free environment and public safety concerns should be top-listed irrespective of the anticipated outcome of the European Parliament elections. Sign this petition to demand the European Commission to proceed with the REACH reform process on urgent notice.


Dear President Von der Leyen,

The European Commission committed to reforming the REACH regulation as a key aspect of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability to achieve a toxic-free environment. REACH was adopted in 2006, and a revision has been long anticipated.

The Regulatory Scrutiny Board issued positive advice on the process late last year, and the Commission was expected to present its proposals on the revision by the end of 2022. However, it appears that the process has hit a dead end in the absence of further updates.

REACH is a crucial regulation that can have a significant impact towards the zero-pollution ambition of the European Union. We demand the Commission take this matter seriously and complete the reform process with urgent priority.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Tormius

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