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Not knowing which hazardous chemicals are in our products is crazy – the new waste database is not

I’d like to argue that a database that can help us understand some of the toxic chemicals we surround ourselves with is pretty solid idea. And imagine the possibilities: What if it wasn’t limited to Candidate List substances, but could also include SIN List chemicals, or better yet, full material declarations? This would seriously incentivize the use of recycled materials as well as increase the value of the industry.

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Don’t be fooled by the nice smell

US organisation Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) released a report that examines fragrance chemicals in beauty, personal care and cleaning products sold in the United States. BCPP tested 140 products using semi- and non-targeted chemical analysis methods, and the results were quite concerning. More than one in four of the total 338 fragrance chemicals detected in the products were linked to serious chronic health effects, such as cancer, hormone disruption and reproductive harm.

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“It don’t matter if you’re black or white”

Some call the blacklist approach old fashioned and out-dated. Let’s focus on what you can use instead of what you cannot, they say. Following this train of thought it is tempting to just advocate getting rid of all blacklists and develop whitelists instead. But in fact, you need both, it is not a question of black or white. Let’s try and sort it out.