ChemSec has updated its Substitute It Now (SIN) List of more than 900 toxic chemicals that should be avoided in the global supply chain. ChemSec is a chemical specialist organization and is followed by many brands, chemical producers, and manufacturers as well as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other influential bodies.
Among the newly added substances are perfluorinated chemicals or PFAS. These chemicals are used in a wide variety of products such as cooking pans, food packaging, dental floss, and water-resistant clothes. Currently, thousands of different PFAS chemicals are in use all around the world. Many of these chemicals have been labeled as persistent, mobile, and toxic chemicals (PMTs). These specific properties and their heavy industrial use mean that these chemicals are now widespread in ground and drinking water all over the world.
The second addition of chemicals to the SIN List are nanomaterials. Engineered nanoforms are legally covered by the European Union’s chemical regulation REACH, but the regulations haven’t really gone further than defining nanomaterials, and manufacturers aren’t sure how to approach nanomaterial hazard management. One example material, carbon nanotubes invented in the 1990s, has been shown in several studies to cause lung cancer.
ChemSec — the International Chemical Secretariat — is an independent nonprofit organization that advocates for substitution of toxic chemicals to safer alternatives. The organization is based in Göteborg, Sweden.