A chemical cascade

Scientists at the Annual Meeting of the EU supported research Network CASCADE, March 28-31, in St Malo France will call for joint discussions with consumers and industry to focus on EU chemicals legislation. More than 100,000 chemicals are present in the environment, but the EU believes information regarding their health effects is inadequate for at least 80,000 of these. EU proposed REACH legislation suggests that all chemicals used in industry must be registered, evaluated and approved and that the spread of potentially harmful chemicals be limited. However, the legislation must be based on scientific data and decisions made accordingly. "We believe that the EU Parliament must consider long-term effects of exposure to chemicals and protect the European population from involuntary exposure to potentially toxic chemicals", says Professor Jan-Åke Gustafsson, Sweden's Karolinska Institute, coordinator of CASCADE.