Chemicals regulator ECHA has won a key fight for transparency linked to endocrine disruptor DEHP.
DEZA, a Czech chemicals manufacturer, sued the regulator after it agreed to release information about DEZA’s application to continue using DEHP, even though it causes developmental problems in children and infertility.
ClientEarth lawyer Alice Bernard said: “This ruling confirms that commercially valuable information is not automatically secret, and that companies wanting to use dangerous chemicals must disclose essential information on the risks to their health and the environment.”
“This is a huge win for transparency and for health and environmental protection. It is fundamental for EU citizens to have a voice in decision making and be able to hold institutions to account.
ClientEarth and the EEB requested the information about the risks of using the hormone-harming chemical and the availability of safer alternatives, because keeping it secret prevents scrutiny of the reasons for continuing to use such a dangerous substance.
When ECHA agreed to give access to some of the documents, DEZA brought the case to the General Court. ClientEarth, the EEB and Health Care Without Harm supported ECHA’s decision in court.
ClientEarth and the EEB will now receive the documents DEZA tried to keep secret. We will assess whether ECHA should have released more information and examine our legal options, and DEZA’s ongoing request to use DEHP.
Despite ECHA agreeing to grant DEZA an authorisation to use DEHP, the Commission has not yet to rubber-stamped the authorisation.