Press Release

PR | Reducing biocides : Zakia Khattabi places Belgium among most ambitious European countries

Federal Environment Minister Zakia Khattabi presented her federal biocides reduction plan to the Council of Ministers today. The draft royal decree approved by the Vivaldi government is based on the precautionary principle and aims at a high level of protection of human, animal and environmental health, with particular attention to the protection of vulnerable groups.

Biocides are everywhere: in the hydroalcoholic gel we use to disinfect our hands, in insecticides, in wood preservatives, etc. They can represent a real risk to human and animal health and have a negative impact on the environment. Moreover, young children and pregnant women are the most vulnerable to these hazards.

With this Royal Decree, Belgium complements the existing European legislation and, together with the Netherlands and France, is now a forerunner in the reduction of biocides. The federal plan consists of 18 measures divided into the following themes: information and awareness-raising, knowledge of biocide exposure and health effects, specific substances and applications, market surveillance of biocides, regulation of the biocides market as well as monitoring and reporting.

Since the beginning of her mandate, Minister Khattabi has been advocating for a toxic-free environment at the international, European and Belgian levels. "We must strive for chemicals that are safe and sustainable starting at the design stage. This plan, this strategy on biocides, is one of the federal instruments to realize this ambition. There will be regular monitoring so that I can ensure that these measures are implemented as soon as possible," she concludes.