The chemical industry says it’s time for the government to set a national standard for the safe use of chlorine and other disinfectants.
Read moreThe chemical industry is fighting to have the government regulate the chemicals used in industry, saying it is a public health risk and should be regulated as a substance with a known hazard.
The chemical lobby has been lobbying to put in place a national chemical standard for disinfectants and other chemicals in Australia.
The Coalition’s science and research spokeswoman, Sarah Hanson-Young, told the ABC’s AM program on Tuesday that she was not surprised by the industry’s reaction to the recommendations.
“I’m surprised that they’re coming out of this, and I think it’s a very strong message,” Hanson-Woods said.
“It’s a clear message that it’s not safe to use chlorinated disinfectants in Australia.”
The National Chemicals Council (NCSC) says the industry has been making a number of complaints about the standards, which include the need to ensure the chemicals are tested for toxicity.
The group’s chief executive officer, Dr Andrew Withers, said the industry was “extremely disappointed” with the Government’s proposal to set standards.
“The National Chemical Council is very disappointed with the recommendations that the Government has put forward,” Dr Witherings said.
The Government is proposing to set national standards for disinfectant disinfectants, and also for chemical safety testing, on a nationwide basis.
“But the National Chemical Institute has consistently advised that we need to have national standards in place,” he said.
Dr Witherss said the Government should take action to “set a national, national standard of safety testing for the use of chlorinated or similar disinfectants”.
“We need to get the chemical industry involved with this.”
We’ve seen a number other industries in Australia and other countries do very good things with chemical safety, and they’re really concerned about how the Government is responding to their concerns,” he told AM.
Dr Hanson-Jones said she hoped the industry would take a closer look at the proposal.”
What we’re looking at is a very comprehensive approach to this,” she said.