Bayer chemical factory Germany
© AFP / Ina Fassbender
A factory of German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer is seen in Leverkusen, Germany.
The lack of detail in the scandal over a breach in EU chemical safety laws by major producers is "a big danger" and gives only a glimpse into the real scale of the issue, Jurgen Maier, the head of a German environmental NGO, says.

"I think there is a big possibility that we have chemicals now on the market that have not been sufficiently checked," Maier, who is the director of the German NGO Forum on Environment and Development, said in an interview with RT. "All the information we've got was full of deficits, it's far from complete and this is playing with the lives of people."

Earlier this week an investigation from German environmental group BUND revealed that more than 650 companies "have been disregarding the law for years and getting away with it, selling substances that might cause hormonal cancers, brain disorders and other severe health problems."

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has acknowledged the problem, but as RT's correspondent Charlotte Dubenskij reports, the agency is now accused of trying to sweep the scandal under the rug. The situation prompted Maier to say that the current system of chemical control in the EU is failing.

RT has contacted several of the companies at the center of the scandal including BASF, Dow Chemical and Henkle, but it has yet to receive any responses.