On September 5, 2016 the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published a study on the substitution of hazardous chemicals under the regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). The study was commissioned by ECHA and conducted by Joel Tickner and Molly Jacobs from the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, U.S.. The authors assessed the current capacity and needs of ECHA, EU and Member State authorities to support the identification, evaluation, and adoption of safer alternatives to substances of very high concern (SVHCs). They found that “REACH and other policies, coupled with market forces, have provided important market drivers for avoidance of SVHCs.” In order to enhance identification and substitution of SVHCs, the authors recommend 1) to further develop infrastructure to support substitution (including funding mechanisms), 2) to increase training and education on analysis of alternatives, and 3) to create sustainable structures for industry and authority collaboration on substitution.

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ECHA (September 5, 2016). “REACH is the dominant driver for substitution – more action is needed.

ChemSec (September 7, 2016). “The EU needs stronger and more coordinated efforts to boost substitution.


Joel Tickner and Molly Jacobs (August 2016). “Improving the identification, evaluation, adoption and development of safer alternatives: Needs and opportunities to enhance substitution efforts within the context of REACH.(pdf)