On September 5, 2016 the non-profit organization the International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) published a news article highlighting the advantages of the European Chemicals Regulation (REACH) regarding the protection of the environment and public health. According to ChemSec director Anna-Sofie Andersson, users of chemicals, e.g. consumer goods manufacturers and retailers, can benefit from better control. REACH “is a world-leading regulatory example of a mixture between hazard- and risk-based elements”, Andersson claims. REACH is based on the identification of hazardous chemicals which shall be avoided and replaced if possible. If substitution is currently not feasible, risk assessments are used to prioritize substances. The protection of the environment and public health can be achieved by this approach, Andersson states. Furthermore, REACH can promote innovation when chemical manufacturers start developing safer alternatives. Andersson clearly refuses the reintroduction of a system that is more risk-based, because “it only provides a model of reality, always limited by assumptions and calculations”. The current REACH review and REFIT programs shall not risk the achievements made under the current regulatory system by lowering the protection of human health and the environment, Andersson concludes.
On September 6, 2016 ChemSec’s director Anna-Sofie Andersson issued a news article on substances that are currently on REACH’s Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (Candidate List). Since September 2014, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has added 20 substances to the Candidate List and announced the addition of further chemicals in autumn 2016. Nevertheless, no new substances have been added to the Authorization List (Annex XIV) during this period. In 2014, the European Commission (EC) already explained this halt by some unresolved industry issues such as economic considerations or lack of alternatives, Andersson describes. However, such arguments are relevant during the authorization process once a substance is on Annex XIV, but shall not stop the addition of new substances to Annex XIV, Andersson concludes.
ChemSec (September 5, 2016). “How chemical legislations can stimulate business and protect health and the environment at the same time.”
ChemSec (September 6, 2016). “Wise up Commission! Stop slacking and pick up the pace.”