A press release published on February 8, 2019 by the non-governmental organization (NGO) European Environmental Bureau (EEB) informed about the publication of a new EEB report focused on the evaluation and regulatory follow-up of substances within REACH. Tatiana Santos, senior policy officer at EEB, explained that the evaluation process within REACH is subdivided into two areas, dossier evaluation and substance evaluation.
Dossier evaluation includes compliance checks on the completeness of the submitted data and is typically carried out by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). An earlier study by the German Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) found the majority of the evaluated dossiers being “not compliant with the legal information requirements of REACH” (FPF reported).
Substance evaluation is carried out by the Member States with the aim “to clarify whether a substance is of concern for human health or the environment and if so, recommend risk management measures to properly address these concerns.” By the third registration deadline (May 31, 2018), almost 22,000 substances have been registered in REACH (FPF reported). From these, “352 substances were prioritized for substance evaluation in CoRAP (Community Rolling Action Plan)” and “94 substance evaluations were completed” by the end of 2018, Santos summarized. For 46 out of these 94 substances, the conclusion was that their “use today on the EU market is not safe for EU citizens and/or the environment.” However, “risk management has been initiated for only twelve substances to control the risks as follow-up of the substance evaluation program since the entry into force of REACH.” For the remaining substances (34 out of 46, or 74%), “concerns were demonstrated, but no actual regulatory follow-up has been initiated to control the risks.”
Santos concludes that there is a need “to speed-up [REACH] evaluation and make the process more effective” as well as “to improve the interface between evaluation and follow-up risk management.” Thus, “if a concern is identified, risk management should be initiated without delay.”
NGO International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) also commented that “there is an obvious need to speed up the whole REACH process, at the moment it takes an embarrassingly long time to regulate chemicals of concern.”
Tatiana Santos (February 8, 2019). “Chemical Evaluation report: Achievements, challenges and recommendations after a decade of REACH.” EEB
International Chemical Secretariat (February 13, 2019). “NGO scrutinizes REACH Evaluation and finds alarming information.”
EEB (February 8, 2019). “Chemical Evaluation: Achievements, challenges and recommendations after a decade of REACH.” (pdf)