The Hazardous Substances Advisory Committee (HSAC), which advises Defra, and other Government Departments and Agencies, has expressed concern about developments in the EU over the proposals to add the pharmaceutical substances E2, EE2 and Diclofenac to the list of Priority Substances (PS) under the Water Framework Directive (WFD).
The Committee has written to Defra Minister Richard Benyon to express their concerns about the process, the legality and the wider issues of these proposals. The cost of cleaning up water supplies to remove these substances is prohibitive, yet banning these substances from use (E2 and EE2 are active ingredients in the female contraceptive pill, and Diclofenac is widely prescribed for the treatment of osteo-arthritis).
Additionally, the ability of laboratories to measure these subtances at the proposed maximum levels must also be called into question due to their proximity to current established limits of detection.
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