Category Archives: EU REACH

ECHA adds seven more Substances of Very High Concern to REACH Candidate List

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow. Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) issued a press release on Tuesday announcing the addition of seven chemicals to the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) under the European Union’s REACH Regulation.  [Update 6/20/11:  The formal addition of these substances to the candidate list, the initial announcement of which this post addressed, happened today.  See ECHA's press release, which also contains some additional information about the uses of these chemicals.  The full candidate list including these seven substances is available here.]

All of the chemicals are officially classified as Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Reproductive toxicants (CMRs).  Their addition brings the total number of chemicals on the Candidate List to 53.  Adding a chemical to REACH’s Candidate List is the first step toward subjecting it to REACH’s Authorization process, whereby the chemical can be used only if specifically authorized by EU authorities.

In this brief post we present a bit more information on these latest seven SVHCs, including the extent of their presence in U.S. commerce and their main uses.  Read More »

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Ripples of REACH: Chemicals policy changes in Japan, Turkey and South Korea

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow. Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

The November 31st deadline for the first batch of registrations under REACH (the European Union’s Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) may have passed, but life is far from dull on the international scene of chemicals policy.  As discussed in a previous post, chemicals policy enhancements are ramping up across the globe, many of them mirroring the innovations introduced under REACH.

In this post, we’ll discuss significant advances in Japan, Turkey and South Korea that drive home the message that the ripples from REACH are ever-widening.  Read More »

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One solid step for REACH, one giant leap for chemicals policy

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow. Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

While efforts to improve U.S. chemical safety legislation have been at, shall we say, a stand-still for the past few months, our European counterparts have been buzzing with activity.  U.S. NGOs, industry, regulators and lawmakers should be paying really close attention to all that buzz as they deliberate the shape of U.S. chemicals policy in the new Congress.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is currently in the thick of processing registrations received by the first major deadline under REACH, the European Union’s chemicals regulation for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals.  November 30, 2010 was the first of three deadlines for registering existing chemicals (termed “phase-in substances” under REACH); it applied to the highest-volume and most hazardous chemicals on the market.  Some 4,700 new and existing chemicals have now been registered under REACH since it took effect in mid-2008, including about 3,500 existing chemicals subject to that first deadline based on high volume or toxicity.

In contrast to Las Vegas, what is happening in Europe is not staying in Europe.  That alone makes it worth paying attention to.  Read More »

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No authorization, no market: REACH identifies first six chemicals to be phased out except for explicitly authorized uses

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow.  Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

The European Commission today identified the first six chemicals to be made subject to authorization under the European Union’s Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, or REACH.

The long road to today’s decision began in October 2008, when the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) identified these chemicals as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) and placed them on its Candidate List for chemicals potentially to be subject to authorization. Under REACH, a chemical qualifies as a SVHC as a result of being:  (1) carcinogenic, mutagenic, or a reproductive toxicant (CMR), (2) being persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT), (3) being very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB), or (4) being found to “give rise to an equivalent level of concern.”  Clearly these are the types of chemicals we want to pay attention to!

Today’s formal addition of these chemicals to REACH’s Annex XIV serves to notify manufacturers and importers that they must apply for, and obtain, authorization for specific uses of these chemicals if they want to continue using them beyond their designated sunset dates in 2014 and 2015.  It is of note that this rule applies to the chemicals in question regardless of their production volumes.   Read More »

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Talk about over-reaching: Anti-REACH screed gets nearly everything wrong

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

In an opinion piece titled "Chemical regulators have overreached" in the August 27, 2009 issue of Nature, two prominent animal welfare advocates claim that vastly larger numbers of chemicals will have to be tested under the European Union's REACH regulation than previously estimated, and hence that 20 times more laboratory animals will be sacrificed.  They call for a moratorium on some animal tests.  Well, a closer look reveals that it's the opiners themselves that have greatly overreached.

[Update 8/28:  The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has just issued this press release also disputing the findings of this new study.]

Read More »

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REACHing for nano

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

In a previous post, I argued that the European Union's REACH Regulation for chemicals goes a long way to address the regulatory needs for nanomaterials – despite the fact that REACH never mentions nano and was not developed with nano in mind.  I also noted, however, that REACH will clearly need more than fine-tuning to ensure adequate nano oversight.  Apparently at least some in the European Parliament agree.  Read More »

Also posted in Health Policy, Nanotechnology| Tagged | 1 Response, comments now closed

Fixing TSCA for Nano: Don't Forget All the Other Chemicals!

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

A growing number of observers of nanotechnology policy in the U.S. – at least those outside the U.S. government! – recognize that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is poorly suited both to spur the generation of sufficient information about nanomaterials, and to ensure that information indicating potential risks will trigger meaningful action.  So why not just tweak TSCA to make it work better for nano? Read More »

Also posted in Health Policy, Nanotechnology, TSCA Reform| Tagged , | 1 Response, comments now closed
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