Safer chemicals podcast

Episode 7 - Highlights from October BPC meeting

When companies apply to get their biocidal active substances approved or have their biocidal products authorised across the whole EU, it is the Biocidal Products Committee that checks them and forms an opinion on the applications. The opinions are then sent to the European Commission which takes the final decision on the applications. 

In this episode, we interview Erik van de Plassche, Chair of ECHA’s Biocidal Products Committee. We focus on the October meeting of the committee which covered, for example nine cases for Union authorisations. In addition, the committee discussed its future workload, upcoming guidance on analysing alternatives and several applications for active substance approvals.

Episode 6 - SCIP: transparency on hazardous chemicals in products

The SCIP database aims to improve transparency on the use of substances of very high concern (SVHCs), also known as Candidate List substances, in all products on the EU market. It can help consumers to make more informed purchasing choices and waste operators to further develop the re-use of articles and the recycling of materials. It can also be seen as a driver for substitution to get these extremely hazardous substances out from products, wherever possible.

In this episode, we interview Kevin Pollard from the European Chemicals Agency. Kevin is Head of the Exposure and Supply Chain Unit which is the core unit for ECHA’s SCIP implementation. We talk about what the SCIP database is, who can benefit from it and what information can be found there.

Episode 5 - Restriction of lead in outdoor shooting

Lead has been used in ammunition for hunting and sports shooting and in fishing tackle for centuries. It is estimated that each year around 100 000 tonnes of lead is dispersed into the EU environment from these uses. The European Chemicals Agency has looked into the possible risks from these uses to wildlife, livestock, the environment and human health. It concluded that there are risks that are not adequately controlled and need to be addressed at EU level.

We interviewed representatives from different organisations during an event organised by ECHA where stakeholders shared their views on a potential restriction on the use of lead in ammunition for hunting and sports shooting.

Ruth Cromie - Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT)


Niels Kanstrup - Danish Hunting Academy


Nina Mikander - African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA)


David Scallan - European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE)


Hans Steinkellner - European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)


Philip Taylor - ELEY Limited (Ammunition manufacturer)


Watch our documentary video on the topic

Published: 24 March 2021


Episode 4 - EU checks imported products for dangerous chemicals

In 2019, inspectors and customs officers in 16 EU countries carried out a project to check around 1 400 imported products. Nearly 1 in 4 products violated EU chemical safety laws.

We interviewed Maria Orphanou, an inspector from Cyprus and the Chair of the Forum Working Group, Erwin Annys, ECHA's Head of Unit for Support and Enforcement activities as well as Miquel Aguado from the European Commission who discuss the findings of the report and give tips for consumers on how to avoid buying dangerous good and for companies on how to make sure they are importing safe products into the EU.




Published: 24 September 2020


Episode 3 - Restricting microplastics and PFHxS in the EU

Interview with Peter Van Der Zandt, ECHA's Director of Risk Management about the restriction restriction proposal for perfluorohexane-1-sulphonic acid (PFHxS) and intentionally-added microplastics.

The European Union is looking into restricting the use of intentionally added microplastics in products, small particles that create big problems, and PHFxS (and related substances) that belong to the PFAS family, also known as “forever chemicals” due to their ability to stay in the environment for a very long time.

Both restrictions were discussed by the Committees for Risk Assessment and for Socio-Economic Analysis in their June 2020 meetings and this podcast explains the outcome.




Published: 17 June 2020


Episode 2 - How is the EU making sure PFAS chemicals don’t stick around?

Interview with Bjorn Hansen, ECHA's Executive Director about poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). They are manufactured chemicals widely used since the 1940s to produce many different consumer products.

Tests show some of them can cause serious health effects such as cancer and liver damage. The good news is that the EU is taking action to reduce their use.

Where exactly are they used, what are the concerns and what is the EU doing about them? Listen to our podcast to find out!




Published: 15 April 2020


Episode 1 - Do nappies for infants contain harmful chemicals?

Interview with Karine Fiore, Regulatory and Socio-Economic Projects Manager from the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) about France's intention to propose a restriction of PAHs, furans, dioxins, PCBs and formaldehyde in single-use nappies for infants and children.


Published: 5 February 2020


Disclaimer: Views expressed by interviewees do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Chemicals Agency. All content is up to date at the time of publication.