Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2017
In Europe, debate as to whether one should regulate chemicals based on intrinsic hazard or assessment of risk, or possibly a combination of both, has been gaining momentum. This article first provides a brief history of this risk versus hazard debate. Secondly, it examines how European regulators are currently handling the regulation of two chemical compounds, namely Bisphenol A and Deca BDE (a brominated flame retardant), based on forty-five expert interviews with regulators, policy makers and industry representatives in eight Member States, as well as with European Commission officials. The paper shows that there is no clear consensus as to when risk or hazard considerations should be the basis for regulatory decision-making, with wide discrepancies between Member States (e.g. the UK is overall more risk based than Sweden) and between regulatory agencies within Member States. The penultimate section puts forward a series of recommendations to help regulators and policy makers develop more consistent and science based regulations for Europe.
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85 Please see press release from the Dansk Folkeparti, “DF sikrer forbud mod Bisphenol A I sutteflasker”, 26th March, 2010.
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