In an press release published on April 2, 2019, non-governmental organization European Environmental Bureau (EEB) announced the publication of their report titled “Chemical Evaluation: Achievements, challenges and recommendations after a decade of REACH.” The report reviews the registration and evaluation processes within the EU’s REACH legislation and identifies specific challenges and recommendations for improving it.
One of the report’s primary concerns is in regards to chemical substances that were prioritized for evaluation within the EU’s Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP). Following the completed evaluation of 94 substances under CoRAP by the end of 2018, 46 were found to require additional risk management measures. However, EEB states that “for 74% of substances (34 out of 46), concerns were demonstrated, but no actual regulatory follow-up has been initiated to control the risks. These substances are allowed on the EU market today, while it is known that their use is not safe for EU citizens and/or the environment.” EEB went on to write that “Member States concluded that 64% of the substances under evaluation [within CoRAP] (126 out of 196) lacked the information to demonstrate the safety of the chemicals marketed in Europe.”
The report presents a set of recommendations for improving the processes within REACH in the future. Specifically, the report identifies the “need to improve the interface between evaluation and follow-up risk management. If a concern is identified, risk management should be initiated without delay.” Overall, the authors call for a “need to streamline and simplify the [REACH] Evaluation process” including improving the “transparency [of] registration dossiers” and also of “dossier decisions,” including the release of uncensored preparatory documents involved in the decision making process. The report’s authors further recommend an “increase [of] the compliance check rate beyond [the legally mandated] 5%” and introducing compliance checks “for the newly submitted low-tonnage registrations.”
EEB (April 2, 2019). “Half of checked chemicals unsafe in current commercial use.”
EEB (April 2, 2019). “Chemical Evaluation report: Achievements, challenges and recommendations after a decade of REACH.”
EEB (April 2, 2019). “Chemical Evaluation: Achievements, challenges and recommendations after a decade of REACH.” (pdf)