THE EUROPEAN Union is to ban the chromate-based azo dye known widely as "navy blue" which is used to colour textile and leather products. The European

Commission said the chromate content of navy blue was toxic to aquatic

organisms, particularly fish, and was not easily bio-degradable. The new prohibition

does not require approval by the European Parliament or the EU Council of Ministers and will come into effect in June 2004, along with bans on other azo dyes.

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