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Concerns over cracks in REACH compliance

Concerns over cracks in REACH compliance

Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is a European Union Regulation that addresses the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment. It is the strictest law to date regulating chemical substances and will affect industries throughout the world. REACH entered into force in 1 June 2007, with a phased implementation over the next decade. When REACH is fully in force, it will require all companies manufacturing or importing chemical substances into the European Union in quantities of one ton or more per year to register these substances with a new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki, Finland. The ECHA has set three major deadlines for registration of chemicals. In general these are determined by tonnage manufactured or imported, with 1000 tons pa being required to be registered by December 1, 2010, 100 tons pa by June 1, 2013 and 1 ton pa by June 1, 2018. In addition, chemicals of higher concern or toxicity also have to meet the 2010 deadline.Many hazardous chemicals that were still commonly used a few years ago have not been registered under the REACH regime, as per Swedish NGO ChemSec as reported by EuPc. This raises serious questions about compliance levels. ChemSec admits the chemicals might have been used less since 2010 – the latest date for which it has figures – making registration unnecessary, but believes this unlikely. Although the data come from Sweden, this could reflect a wider European problem. Companies that manufacture or import chemicals identified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMRs) in quantities over one ton a year were meant to register them by the first REACH deadline in November 2010. But ChemSec says hundreds of CMRs preregistered in 2008 were not subsequently registered. It also checked unregistered CMRs on its SIN list against a Swedish database showing chemical use in 2010 and found 46 were used in quantities over 100 kilograms in Sweden that year. Data for 2011 will not be available until next year. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) plans to start releasing registrant names later this year. Member states are responsible for enforcing REACH registration but do not have the resources to check the status of every substance on the European market

 
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