At the recent Dublin Biocide Symposium organised by Kerona Scientific, Dr. Helena Gräf, Head of Biocide Regulatory Affairs at Ecolab in Germany, gave a presentation on “Biocide Opportunities and Challenges from an Industry Perspective”.
Dr. Gräf started with an overview of the aims of the Biocidal Products Regulation – harmonisation to improve commercialisation, protect humans and the environment and guarantee efficacy – and the need for biocidal products in today’s society. She then spoke about the various challenges the biocide market faces in Europe, which result in unpredictability which in turn makes the EU regulatory environment unfavourable for innovation. On the other hand, one of the key commitments of the recently signed European Green Deal is the so-called Zero Pollution Ambition, which includes a chemical strategy for sustainability in which boosting innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals is a key part. Dr. Gräf concluded that to reconcile this mismatch, industry and regulators need to work together to reduce delays, reduce the complexity of the regulatory environment (with overview documents or guidelines), hold to targets (i.e., apply new requirements only to new applications) and continue the harmonisation efforts.
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