A living organism is the scene of a very complex balance of many chemicals. Adding a foreign substance can upset this balance and create disturbances or damage.
Over 100,000 new substances have been marketed in Europe since 1950 and we know practically nothing about their toxicity: over 80% of them have never been tested to assess their implication for our health!
Released from glues, paints, packaging, furniture, building materials, cleaning products, they get into food, air, river water or groundwater and accumulate in organisms.
In Europe, prostate cancer and Parkinson's disease have tripled over the past twenty years, breast cancers and Alzheimer's disease have doubled.
Childhood leukemia is increasing every year by 2% and the fertility of couples continues to decline, while the average sperm count in men has decreased by 50% on average over two generations.
On September 18th, 1981, a total of 100,106 chemicals were counted on the European market. It is only since then that any new chemical must be tested for health and safety before being authorised.
Today, the European REACH regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals has been added.
When it came into force on June 1st, 2007, its aim was to sift through 30,000 substances present in consumer products.
There are now 140,000 substances to be analysed!
The REACH program is essential and must promptly inform us about the toxicity of chemicals which we are exposed to.
Unfortunately the assessments will be spread over 10 years and will be conducted mainly on animals.
According to recent estimates 54 million animals would be needed instead of the 2.5 million that were originally announced.
The animal welfare groups as well as scientists, who are fighting for the establishment of alternative methods are shocked.
Not only are these tests going to cause suffering of millions of animals, but they provide no relevant information concerning the toxicity of chemicals to humans.