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