Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life Contents

2Environment and human health impact of chemicals


13.There is a vast array of chemicals in the environment. These span historical contaminants such as metals and persistent chemical pollutants to substances for modern use such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals, nanomaterials and chemicals in consumer products.42 They are released directly or as by-products of industrial and manufacturing processes, energy generation, agriculture and pharmaceuticals.43 The persistence and fate of chemicals in the environment is controlled by natural processes and ecosystems are exposed to complex chemical mixtures.44 In 2013, the UN estimated that 27 percent of total global ecosystem loss was due to chemical pollution.45 The Lancet Commission estimated that 9 million premature deaths worldwide were attributable to pollution in 2015 and it determined that ‘chemical pollution is a great and growing global problem’.46 It has a cumulative effect where the whole food chain is impacted ‘because different chemicals will have different effects on different parts of the ecosystem.’47 UK Research and Innovation said it is not yet known what contribution chemicals make towards biodiversity loss and environmental degradation.48

14.Professor John Sumpter of Brunel University told us that it is not possible to know which chemicals we should be most concerned about. Using the example of Teflon, he said that as one damaging chemical is restricted, over 1,000 similar chemicals are patented, with many still in use.49 Chemicals in the environment are managed through international conventions and by the EU’s REACH regulation.

International chemicals management

15.The management of chemicals is included in Goals 3 and 12 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Target 3.9 aims to ‘substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals’ while target 12.4 aims to ‘achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle.’50 International oversight of chemicals is provided by the United Nations Environment Programme, the OECD’s chemical safety and biosafety division and the World Health Organisation’s International Programme on Chemical Safety. The UN administers the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, a policy framework to achieve the safe management of chemicals throughout their life cycle51 and published its second global chemicals outlook in early 2019.52 It has also implemented global treaties to control the use of hazardous chemicals including the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions (on the trade in hazardous waste and ending the production of persistent organic pollutants).53

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

16.The 2004 Stockholm Convention [hereafter ‘the Convention’] aims to protect human health and the environment from persistent organic pollutants (POPs). POPs are organic chemical substances that remain intact for a long time, become widely distributed in the environment through natural processes, accumulate in the fatty tissue of organisms and are toxic to humans and wildlife.54 Food is the primary route of exposure for humans. Professor Mumford explained that ‘probably 80% to 90% of our foodborne contact with POPs is through animal products—through dairy, meat, fish and oils.’55 POPs can be toxic to the liver, kidney and nervous, reproductive and immune systems and cancer-causing.56 The Convention requires signatories to prohibit or eliminate the production and use of POPs. They must also take measures to ensure wastes containing POPs are managed in an environmentally sound manner. 28 chemicals are restricted under the Convention with a further three under review.57 The UK ratified the Convention in April 2005 and the Government has a national implementation plan for its delivery. The 25 Year Environment Plan commits the Government to fulfilling its obligations under the Convention including the elimination of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) by 2025 and increasing the amount of material containing POPs being destroyed or irreversibly transformed by 2030.58

17.POPs continue to be found in the environment and organisms despite the Convention. Reports suggest that levels of PCBs in Europe have stabilised rather than continuing to decline.59 Dr Kimberley Bennett of Abertay University said that there has not been a substantial reduction in the environmental risk from POPs to seals in the North Sea in 15 years. This indicated that ‘relying on a ban of production and use is not sufficient to eliminate POPs from the environment and from the food chain in a timely way.’60 Professor Tamara Galloway from the University of Exeter told us that regulation has contributed to a fall in the concentration of PCBs in seafood and focused remediation can be effective in reducing levels of PCBs below toxic levels.61

Chemicals in the UK environment

18.The Government’s approach to chemicals in the environment is set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan and the 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy. The 25 Year Environment Plan is focused on POPs and the UK’s obligations under the Stockholm Convention.62 It does not consider chemical pollution or exposure from chemicals in consumer products.63 The Resources and Waste Strategy sets out how the Government will approach sustainable chemicals use as it moves towards a circular economy. It notes that ‘there are significant opportunities for resource efficiency savings in the chemicals sector.’64 Legacy chemicals in products were identified as a problem as they contaminate waste streams and pose a barrier to efficient recovery of resources. It cited Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and Eco-design as methods to address these issues.65 Wildlife and Countryside Link and CHEM Trust called on the Government to set targets for the reduction of chemicals in the environment.

The Government needs to set targets and strategies for the reduction into the environment from all sources of all substances of regulatory interest (e.g. all SVHC on ECHA’s candidate list, all substances in the REACH Restrictions process). They also need to address emerging chemicals of concern (persistent, mobile, endocrine disruptors etc) that are found in everyday products such as many “new” bisphenols.66

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is supporting research into the environmental risk from chemicals via its Emerging Risks of Chemicals in the Environment programme. This is expected to lead to a transformation in how chemical risk assessment is considered and moves towards an ecosystems approach.67

Extended Producer Responsibility

19.The Resources and Waste Strategy identified EPR as a method of reducing the contamination of waste streams by chemicals. The waste management of products containing harmful chemicals has a direct effect on the environment as toxic substances can be released into the air, water and soil. These toxins can leach from landfill, enter soil and water, travel long distances, accumulate in tissues of plants and animals, before entering human bodies. The management of plastic waste through incineration, gasification and pyrolysis can release toxic metals, dioxins, furans and acid gases. This can lead to direct or indirect exposure to toxic substances for workers and communities.68

20.In the Resources and Waste Strategy, the Government committed to an EPR scheme for bulky waste including mattresses, furniture and carpets by 2025.69 This is unlikely to be consulted on before 2020.70 Defra is also developing a strategy with local authorities and the waste industry to divert high risk items away from landfill.71 In evidence, Dr Thérèse Coffey, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, was unable to give detail on the EPR scheme for bulky waste as it is still in early stages; however she confirmed that the ‘polluter pays’ principle will form an element.72 She acknowledged that chemicals used in bulky waste pose a technical challenge for identification and safe removal. The Environment Agency is working with industry to find a solution to dispose safely of brominated flame retardants.73 Cement kiln co-incineration was proposed as one solution.74 Minister Coffey agreed that mandating the use of environmentally friendly alternatives to flame retardants would be a good approach ‘if it fulfils the principle of what it is there to do, which is safety and also [reducing] the risk from chemicals.’75

21.The Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA) confirmed that they, alongside the British Furniture Confederation and National Bed Federation, have had discussions with Defra regarding the disposal of products containing flame retardants.76 In evidence, retailers were broadly supportive of an EPR scheme; however IKEA stressed the need for a harmonised approach.77 Amazon added that it would like the administration of the programme to involve the entire supply chain, including recyclers.78 Kingfisher noted the need to ensure it is designed correctly so that the market responds and the Government can help to facilitate information about approved recyclers.79

22.In May, the Mail on Sunday reported that Amazon destroys unsold stock in France.80 Following the reports, the French Prime Minister’s office reported that more than €650 million worth of consumer products are thrown away each year and the government moved to ban the destruction of unsold or returned consumer products including clothes, electrical items and cosmetics. The ban will be introduced within four years.81 Amazon was questioned about the practice in the UK and denied it took place:

No. When I was talking about this earlier, I was talking about my knowledge of the UK’s work here, because I work in the UK office, is that we have a zero to landfill policy. I know that they are looking to try to continually improve that story everywhere across Europe. One of the challenges that we have in France is that donations are subject to VAT so there are fewer overall donation pathways as a result of that.82

23.It will not be possible to implement the ambitions of the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and the Resources and Waste Strategy without a rapid transition to a more circular economy for chemicals. We call on the Government to set ambitious targets for the reduction of chemicals in the environment. The forthcoming Chemicals Strategy should form the basis for the UK to develop a non-toxic environment by setting out a clear, ambitious vision for the type of chemical environment we hope to live in. It should lay out a plan for remediation of regulated substances in the environment with binding targets.

24.We recommend that the Government works with the EU environment plan and REACH to mandate the phase out of chemicals harmful to the environment. This should include a ban on the use of substances of very high concern, including those under the threshold level, ‘regrettable substitutes’ and groups of chemicals whose properties mean they do not easily breakdown in the environment. The Government should introduce an EPR to enable the furniture industry to invest in technology to ensure the safe disposal of hazardous wastes containing harmful chemicals such as brominated flame retardants.

25.The landfill and incineration of consumer products containing chemicals causes harm to the environment, workers and communities. Reports from France suggest this is happening in huge volumes to unsold stock. We restate the recommendation in our Fixing Fashion report and call on the Government to ban the landfill and incineration of unused and unsold consumer goods.

Attitudes to chemicals

26.In 2017, a survey by the European Commission found that 90 percent of Europeans were worried about the environmental impact and 84 percent were worried about the health impacts of chemicals in everyday products. This indicated a higher level of public concern for chemicals than plastics.83 During this inquiry, we ran a similar survey to gauge the views of the UK public about chemicals in consumer products. The survey received 589 responses online and through outreach events at IKEA Greenwich and Victoria Leeds. There was a high level of awareness (79 percent) of potentially harmful chemicals in consumer products. The results mirrored the European Commission’s findings of overwhelming concern about the impact of chemicals in consumer products. 98 percent of respondents were somewhat or very concerned about the impact on the environment while 95 percent were somewhat or very concerned about the impact of their health. Beauty and laundry products, air fresheners, toys, clothing and shoes were of particular concern.84

27.We received written evidence of exposure to chemicals. Georgina Downs described the effects of her exposure to the organophosphate flame retardant, triaryl phosphate ester, via a faulty laptop.

It was deemed a relatively high level exposure considering that the breakdown product of the OP [organophosphate] was still found in my body fat almost 3 months later in blood and fat tests that were taken at a medical and scientific laboratory at the end of October 2009. The body fat tests also found raised levels of another flame retardant called polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs).

The extensive and subsequently diagnosed impacts on my eyes as a result of the exposure causing pain in the eyes, light sensitivity, acute problems with glare, dry eyes, significant disturbances in the field of vision (which is like looking through debris with how many black lines etc. there are), have been permanent ever since. Also, at the time and for a few weeks after I also had pinpoint pupils (a common feature of OP poisoning).85

Tracy Logan detailed her exposure to formaldehyde:

Our toxic furniture installation occurred in April 2017. It involved built-in cabinets and wardrobes in our bedroom, which made our eyes sting for 10 days following installation. The furniture firm told us this was normal. Eleven days after installation, a BRE air quality investigator sampled the air in our bedroom. This showed our bedroom air to contain more than thirteen times the WHO’s safety limit for formaldehyde, over eighteen times the Building regulations for VOCs [volatile organic compounds] and four times over the WHO limit for styrene. Emissions were significantly higher inside a new wardrobe.86

Human health

28.The Lancet Commission concluded ‘the effects of chemical pollution on human health are poorly defined and its contribution to the global burden of disease is almost certainly underestimated.’87 It suggests that chemicals have the potential ‘to cause global epidemics of disease, disability and death.’88 This is linked to a lack of testing of chemicals for their safety and toxicity prior to be being placed on the market. Pre-market evaluation of new chemicals is a recent development and at present, is limited to a small number of high-income countries.89 The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated the disease burden from chemicals as 1.6 million deaths and 45 million disability-adjusted-life-years in 2016.90 This was an increase on its 2012 estimates and it suggested it is likely to be an underestimate overall as data is only available for a small proportion of the chemicals to which people are regularly exposed.91 In the EU, the annual cost of exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals alone is estimated at between €109 billion and €157 billion.92

29.Concentrations of chemicals identified in humans vary depending on the location. Higher levels of some flame retardants have been identified in developed countries while some pesticides are present in greater concentration in developing countries.93 Professor Depledge told us that research by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health also identified different socio-economic groups as a factor in the burden of chemicals.

… [we looked at] people from different socioeconomic groups within the NHANES study, let us just say from wealthy people to very poor people. We looked at the body burden of chemicals that they had and they were very different. Wealthy people tended to have more mercury, probably from the consumption of shellfish, shrimps and things like that, and more pesticides from the golf course, whereas poorer people had more chemicals, say, from landfill sites and from air pollution. They end up with a different spectrum of diseases. We are only beginning to see how socioeconomic conditions interact with body burdens of environmental chemicals.94

30.Health conditions associated with exposure to harmful chemicals include developmental disorders, endocrine disruption, breathing difficulties, reproductive disorders, cancers and neurological disorders.95 Foetuses, children and pregnant women are most at risk.96 Baskut Tuncak, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxics, warned of children being born ‘pre-polluted.’97 Recent studies have discovered banned flame retardants in the umbilical cord blood of new-borns.98 Dr Michael Warhurst of CHEM Trust explained that ‘the most sensitive period is always development; it is always the foetus and the development of the brain.’99 Men and some occupations are also at risk in certain environments. Research by the University of Nottingham linked declining male fertility with concentrations of chemicals in the home.100 Firefighters are at greater risk from some carcinogenic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAs) and flame retardants; cashiers from bisphenols used in till receipts.101 Research for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has shown higher instances of sinonasal cancer in furniture and textile industry workers exposed to formaldehyde and wood dust.102

Body burden of chemicals

31.Humans and animals are exposed to complex mixtures of chemicals from a variety of sources on a daily basis. This exposure can impact on human and environmental health, even if individual chemicals in a mixture are below their individual safety threshold levels. Moreover, chemicals do not act in a uniform way in mixtures and can have complex additive, synergistic or cancelling effects.103 Professor Depledge explained that as people are living longer, there is evidence that they are developing diseases earlier in old age.104

As we are now living longer, we are accumulating levels in our bodies that are much higher than ever before, so there is a much larger number of people with higher levels of these chemical mixtures than ever before and we do not know what the implications are of it.105

Professor Sumpter outlined that under current testing regimes, it is not possible to determine if there is a risk to human health from long-term, low-level chronic exposure.106


32.The Royal Society of Chemistry told us that with increasing data and awareness of the burden of chemicals, ‘we will seek as a society to know whether the chemicals observed in our biofluids (blood and urine) are presenting significant harm to the quality and longevity of life.’107 The EU’s Joint Research Centre is coordinating five research programmes: chemical mixtures in the environment (SOLUTIONS), human health (EuroMix, HBM4EU), endocrine disruption (EDC-MixRisk) and alternatives to animal testing (EUToxRisk). The purpose is to consider the links between mixtures and diseases and the interaction effects of chemicals.108 The UK government funds the annual Health Survey for England. This measures physical and mental health alongside wellbeing, social care and lifestyle behaviours of 8,000 adults and 2,000 children.109 UK Biobank, a registered charity and international health resource, has collected samples from 500,000 people aged between 40–69 including body scans and lifestyle questionnaires. These samples are used by researchers around the world investigating prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a range of serious illnesses. It receives funding from the Medical Research Council, Department of Health, Scottish and Welsh governments and other UK charities.110

HBM4EU (Human Biomonitoring for the EU)

The HBM4EU programme is a five-year, EU member state initiative funded through Horizon 2020 to coordinate and advance human biomonitoring in the EU. It runs until 2021. The project is intended to harmonize procedures for biomonitoring enabling the collection of comparable data on human internal exposure to chemicals and mixtures of chemicals. To achieve this, the project is developing indicators to ‘describe the exposure and body burden of chemical mixtures, with an emphasis on defining priority mixtures and identifying the drivers of mixture toxicity.’111 To date it has listed 18 priority substances including chemical mixtures, bisphenols, flame retardants, per-/poly-fluorinated compounds and phthalates.112

It has been suggested that the UK is only participating in this programme in a limited way and is not fully involved in collecting data.113

33.Biomarkers can provide ‘a biological measure of current or historic exposure to a pollutant.’114 They provide a broader perspective than measuring concentrations of a pollutant in an environment as lifestyle factors are also accounted for. Through blood and urine sampling, information about individual exposure can be assessed which can inform estimations of the population’s exposure. Countries such as the US and Germany have used these surveys to monitor chemical exposure over time.115 To date, the Health Survey for England has not been used to study the effects of pollution, including from chemicals. The Chief Medical Officer’s 2017 annual report noted that ‘the collection and storage of biological samples and health data mean that such studies using HSE data could be undertaken were funding to become available.’116 In a parliamentary debate on chemicals regulation after leaving the EU, Minister Coffey said the Government’s forthcoming Chemicals Strategy was intended to ‘support collaborative work on human biomonitoring.’117

34.We received evidence in favour of the UK establishing its own biomonitoring programme within the Chemicals Strategy.118 Breast Cancer UK said its understanding was that the UK could continue to participate in the HBM4EU project until its completion but may be unable to continue as part of any follow-on programme should we leave the EU without a deal. It suggested that the UK establish its own biomonitoring programme in such a scenario.119 Professor Sumpter described the potential benefits:

… It seems a rather dull and routine thing to be doing, and yet biomonitoring—and, I would also argue, wildlife monitoring—is really our eyes and ears. It gives us another angle to see to what degree our chemical exposure is changing, increasing or decreasing, and how that may or may not be associated with health. Without that monitoring exercise, for many of our aspirations such as those mentioned in the 25-year environment plan, we would have no idea whether we would be achieving them.120

Professor Sumpter outlined that it would not be possible to monitor every chemical, so choices would have to be made on what to monitor. He suggested that the establishment of a programme would incur significant costs and take time to produce information.121 Professor Tim Gant of Public Health England said similar national studies in other EU countries cost in the region of €1 million annually.122 On its benefit for decision making, Professor Andrew Johnson of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology cautioned that ‘it will not solve all the questions you wish to ask but it would be a vital part of the evidence you would need to come to those sorts of decisions.’123

35.Public Health England also supported the need for biomonitoring and further resource for the HBM4EU programme. Professor Gant said it would enable better understanding of ‘what exposures are within the population. Only with that information can you then start to calculate risk.’124 He proposed that this could be done via blood, hair, saliva and urine sampling.125 When questioned about the inclusion of a biomonitoring programme within the Chemicals Strategy, Minister Coffey said:

I have tried to outline that we are still at very early stages. Some of this will depend on the scenario that we have for [EU] exit, but biomonitoring is important to follow the trends and identify problematic substances. We are very much engaged with the EU programme, and it certainly has the opportunity to be a key part of the future Chemicals Strategy. I am not ruling it in, nor am I ruling it out.126

36.Without better understanding of the body burden of chemicals, it is difficult for authorities to know what the population is exposed to in greatest measure and what the risk from that exposure is. We recommend that the Government establish a UK wide human and wildlife biomonitoring programme. The objectives and priority monitoring areas for the programme should be set out in the Government’s forthcoming Chemicals Strategy. Such a programme will require careful design. We call on the Government to form an inter-disciplinary body of scientists and stakeholders to establish the best approach and use best practice from established programmes internationally. We support the Chief Medical Officer’s 2017 suggestion that the data collected by the Health Survey for England should be considered as a starting point for this programme. In recognition of the timeframe required to produce exposure information, the programme should be provided with long-term, ringfenced funding. The programme should be accompanied by a public information campaign so that people are aware of their chemical burden and how they can lower it.

Plastic packaging

37.The use of plastic packaging is increasing and it ‘is likely to substantially contribute to chemical exposures of the human population and the environment.’127 The chemicals in packaging can transfer to food, cosmetics and into the environment. The Food Packaging Forum led the establishment of the Database of Chemicals associated with Plastic Packaging. It identified 906 chemicals used in packaging and 3,377 substances that are possibly associated. Of these, 63 are human health hazards while 68 are environmental hazards according to ECHA classifications under the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulation. The EU considers 7 of the substances as persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic or very persistent, very bio-accumulative and a further 15 as endocrine disrupting chemicals. Chemicals are included in plastics as solvents, plasticisers, flame retardants and colorants.128 Wildlife and Countryside Link argued the Government should focus on prevention by phasing out plastics which are toxic to environmental health. They suggested that this could be done via the EPR scheme for plastic packaging with measures introduced to ‘strongly disincentivise and/or prohibit harmful plastics from being placed on the market.’129

38.Professor Galloway highlighted the difficulty in reducing the body burden from chemicals in plastics. She referenced an experiment by the University of Exeter to monitor exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical commonly found in plastics.

The students and their families designed their diets and then stayed on them for seven days, which was the time we thought would allow concentrations to drop. We took samples from the students before and afterwards and although all of them were hugely enthusiastic and did everything that they were supposed to do, they found it almost impossible to do that for seven days because you could not follow the packaging. The packaging was not labelled so they did not know what kind of plastics things were packaged in. They could not find things that were unprocessed. Even if they tried to cook something themselves, it would be from other things that were processed. At the end of the trial, we saw a teeny tiny drop in their bisphenol A levels but not a significant drop.130

She cited a lack of labelling and transparency as key challenges in making informed consumer choices.131 This echoed the findings of the Food Packaging Forum who identified a lack of information ‘on how specific chemicals are used, or which chemicals are used in what application and in what quantities, and at which levels they are present in finished plastic packaging.’132

Food contact materials

39.Food contact materials were highlighted as a particular problem. Our academic witnesses were divided fifty-fifty on whether they would use Teflon coated pans in their homes.133 Contact materials include packaging, containers, kitchen equipment, cutlery, utensils and dishes.134 Manufacturers must ensure any potential transfer to food does not raise safety concerns, change the composition of the food in an unacceptable way or cause adverse effects on taste or odour. European Food Standards Authority publishes scientific opinions, risk assessments and advice on the safety of substances intended for use in food contact materials.135 In the UK, the Food Standards Agency is responsible for ‘protecting the public against chemicals that might transfer onto food from materials they come into contact with, for example packaging and utensils.’136 The EU consulted on food contact materials in early 2019. CHEM Trust called on the EU to include an automatic ban on the use of substances of very high concern within the new regulation.137

40.Dr Warhurst described food contact materials as an example of a system which does not work properly with constant substitution a problem.138

You have an EU harmonised list of chemicals that you can use in food contact plastics. That is separate from the REACH system and to an extent is not updated by the REACH system, so that list is a bit too stable … This is about plastic, but food contact materials are also made of paper, card, coatings, inks and glues. Amazingly, those materials do not have harmonised EU regulations, and do not have a harmonised list.139

Professor Rick Mumford of the Food Standards Agency estimated that the number of chemicals used in food contact materials is likely in the ‘tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.’140 He said the UK is taking a risk-based approach.141 This is led by work at EU level via Commission Expert Working Groups. The Food Standards Agency is also working with other UK Government departments and agencies to establish a UK/EU strategy for per-fluorinated chemicals,142 identified as chemicals of significant concern during the inquiry.143

41.There are a huge number of chemicals used in plastic and food packaging, some of which have been identified as harmful to human health and the environment. We call on manufacturers to be more transparent about the chemicals used in their packaging to enable consumers make informed decisions. We support CHEM Trust’s call for REACH-defined substances of very high concern to be automatically banned in food contact materials as soon as possible. We recommend the Government implements a UK-wide ban on the use of these chemicals in food contact materials available on the UK market to lower the public’s exposure. We also call on the Government to advocate this position as part of the EU’s review of food contact materials. In addition, the Government should use the introduction of an EPR scheme for plastic packaging to phase out the use of chemicals in plastics which have been found to be toxic to human and environmental health.

42.We heard that per-fluorinated chemicals are of significant concern due to the lack of knowledge surrounding them and the health effects associated with them. Pending a further opinion by the European Food Safety Authority, the tolerable daily intake levels of the chemicals PFOA and PFOS will be substantially reduced.144 We call on the Government to publish its strategy on per-fluorinated chemicals as soon as possible. This should include clear guidance on routes of exposure to chemicals such as PFOS and PFOA and how these will be reduced amongst the public.

42 Q5

43 Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (TCS0025), p 3.

44 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) (TCS0022), p 2.

45 Wildlife & Countryside Link (TCS0024), p 3.

47 Q2

48 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) (TCS0022), p 2.

49 Q4

50 UN Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages; UN Sustainable Development Goals, Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns [accessed 28 February 2019].

51 SAICM, SAICM Overview [accessed 11 March 2019].

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56 Persistent Chemical Pollutants, POSTnote 579, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, July 2018, p 2.

57 Persistent Chemical Pollutants, POSTnote 579, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, July 2018, p 1.

58 HM Government, 25 Year Environment Plan (2018), p 30.

60 Dr Kimberley Bennett (TCS0026), p 3.

61 Q5

62 HM Government, 25 Year Environment Plan (2018), p 30.

63 CHEM Trust (TCS0012), p 6.

66 CHEM Trust (TCS0012), p 7; Wildlife & Countryside Link (TCS0024), p 3.

67 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) (TCS0022), p 2.

68 CIEL et al., Plastic & Health: The hidden costs of a plastic planet (February 2019), p 2.

69 HM Government, Our waste, our resources: A strategy for England (2018), pp 38–9.

70 Environmental Audit Committee, Eighteenth Special Report of Session 2017–19, Fixing fashion: clothing consumption and sustainability: Government Response to the Committee’s Sixteenth Report, HC 2311, p 9.

71 Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (TCS0040), p 9.

83 European Commission, Special Eurobarometer 468 Report: Attitudes of European citizens towards the environment (2017), p 34.

84 Environmental Audit Committee, Survey results: Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life [accessed 28 June 2019].

85 UK Pesticides Campaign (TCS0050), pp 3–4.

86 Tracey Logan (TCS0045), p 2.

91 WHO, Chemical Risk Assessment Network Newsletter (Spring 2019), p 2.

92 Trasande, L. et al., Estimating burden and disease costs of exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the European Union, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol 100 (2015), p 1245.

95 Changing Markets Foundation, Testing for Toxics: How chemicals in European carpets are harming health and hindering circular economy (October 2018), p 11.

97 Pure Earth, Pollution knows no borders (2019), p 34.

100 School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nottingham (TCS0038), pp 2–3.

101 Fidra (TCS0019), p 4.

107 Royal Society of Chemistry (TCS0034), p 5.

110 UK Biobank, About UK Biobank [accessed 21 June 2019].

111 HBM4EU, Exposure and Health [accessed 15 March 2019].

112 Chemical mixtures pose ‘underestimated’ risk to human health say scientists, Horizon Magazine, 15 May 2019; HBM4EU, Substances [accessed 22 May 2019].

113 Public Health England, UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum - HBM4EU Presentation (June 2019), pp 11–12.

117 HC Deb, 1 February 2018,col 440WH [Westminster Hall].

119 Breast Cancer UK (TCS0018), p 6.

122 Letter from Public Health England to EAC, 26 June 2019.

127 Groh, K.J. et al., Overview of known plastic packaging-associated chemicals and their hazards, Science of The Total Environment, vol 651 (February 2019), p 3254.

128 Groh, K.J. et al., Overview of known plastic packaging-associated chemicals and their hazards, Science of The Total Environment, vol 651 (February 2019), pp 3253–4.

129 Wildlife & Countryside Link (TCS0024), p 4.

132 Groh, K.J. et al., Overview of known plastic packaging-associated chemicals and their hazards, Science of The Total Environment, vol 651 (February 2019), p 3265.

134 ECHA, Chemicals in food [accessed 23 April 2019].

135 European Food Safety Authority, Food contact materials [accessed 23 April 2019].

136 Food Standards Agency, Food contact materials [accessed 23 April 2019].

Published: 16 July 2019