- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
On Nov. 17, 2005, the European Parliament approved legislation designed to protect Europeans from the harmful effects of chemicals. The battle over the proposed law has continued for four years and will now go to member states for approval, which is expected before the end of the year. If approved, the European Commission said it was unlikely the law would come into force before 2007.
The new law has been dubbed by the acronym, “REACH,” which stands for registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals. A few specific issues covered by the legislation include:
Any chemical produced or imported in significant quantities has to be tested unless sufficient safety information already exists. The cost should be born by the producer or the importer.
Business will be able to use substances of very high concern only if they have authorization from a new European Chemicals Agency.
Many of the old chemicals would have to be tested, too; so innovation would become more worthwhile. Chemicals produced or imported in quantities less than one metric tonne would be exempt, while those used for research would not have to be registered for five or 10 years.
For more information, visit http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/world/europe/4437304.stm.