Toxic biocides discovered on Dutch market

25th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

Minister Jacqueline Cramer of VROM announced that there are banned substances mixed into products in the Netherlands.

THE HAGUE—In the Netherlands there are approximately 800 to 1,000 poisonous substances mixed into products. All of them are banned by the European Union. Sixty-seven of these substances are so toxic the products in which they’re mixed have to be removed from shelves immediately.

Minister Jacqueline Cramer (VROM) referred to the situation as “not exactly rose-colored.” Unfortunately, she was unable to comment on which products pose a threat. The primary culprits are reportedly preservatives, cleaning products and paint.

The Minister commissioned an inventory on “biocides” in the Netherlands, and made the findings known in the House of Representatives Tuesday. Most of the substances don’t form an immediate risk, and therefore won’t be removed from shelves.

Manufacturers using less toxic biocides in their products will be required to submit a request in the coming months so that the Ministry can make a risk assesment. The substances will then be banned, or rules will be appled to their use.

While the Ministry of VROM was reluctant to make clear which substances form an immediate danger, the Greenpeace website does list products with known toxicity. The list includes personal hygiene products, clothes, running shoes, paint, and cleaning products. The Greenpeace list also includes safe alternatives to these products.

The European Union website on the environment also contains detailed information on biocides. There is a list available on the Internet of products that have been recalled by the EU.

Radio Netherlands/ANP/Lila Lundquist/Expatica

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