As reported by the non-governmental organization The International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) on November 11, 2014 a member of the Swedish Parliament, Åsa Westlund, wants the EU chemicals regulation REACH to address hazardous groups of chemicals with similar structures. This would accelerate the removal of hazardous substances from the market. In her motion to the Swedish Parliament on November 5, 2014 Westlund emphasized that when a hazardous substance is regulated, manufacturers may slightly modify its chemical structure and simply return it on the market under a new name. Nevertheless, due to the similarity in chemical structure and function, the new chemical may exhibit the same hazardous properties as the original substance. Therefore, it is necessary to address hazardous chemicals for regulatory purposes as groups of chemicals with a similar structure. This issue is currently not considered under REACH. However, if a chemical structure is modified, new research is often required to provide sufficient evidence for its hazardous properties. As a result, the legislative process is slowed down. Grouping chemicals with structural similarity will help to prioritize further research and consequently reduce potentially harmful exposure to the public as well as animal experiments, Westlund contends.

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ChemSec (November 11, 2014). “Swedish Member of Parliament wants REACH to address groups of chemicals.

Åsa Westlund’s motion (November 5, 2014). (in Swedish)