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How TTIP could harm our health by affecting chemicals regulation

The EU and USA are negotiating an agreement which threatens to privilege corporations, and increase their influence in policy negotiations and implementation. In particular, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could also undermine the EU’s high level of protection against hazardous chemicals.

The threat from TTIP relates to the vast differences between the EU and US system for addressing the problems arising from toxic chemicals.

HEAL and CHEM Trust, using an initial text by the Center for International Environmental Law, have written a briefing entitled “TTIP – how the EU-US trade talks could harm our health by affecting chemicals regulation”.

This briefing introduces the horizontal and particular features of the TTIP that would affect EU chemicals and pesticides management, affect fracking for natural gas, and dampen the progress made in global fora on international chemicals risks.

But chemicals is not the only area that is under scrutiny: across the spectrum of civil society, from development NGOs to digital and privacy rights groups, as well as trade unions – including those in the public sector involved in health care, the concerns about the upcoming TTIP, or Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA), are widespread. As these groups are becoming more educated about the potential provisions in the agreement, and raising awareness of the public, the concern is becoming more acute.

Further reading

An in-depth examination of the role of the chemical industry in the negotiations, and their proposals which threaten progress on eliminating toxic chemicals can be found in the Client Earth/CIEL report "Toxic Partnership".

An additional resource is a general two page briefing on TTIP which is for the general reader, and which includes Questions for European politicians wishing to be (re)elected to the European Parliament. “EU-US Free Trade Agreement: A Race Down to the Lowest Common Denominator?”

For more details and to sign on to a joint (multi-sector) statement, please contact

Originally posted on 11 April 2014

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


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