Saturday, November 15, 2008

REACH Directive - Assessing Existing Chemicals Under REACH

Unlike the previous regulations, REACH applies to ALL chemicals currently used or sold in the EU. Existing chemicals, as of 1981, were exempted from the previous regulations; since then only new chemicals were required to have risk evaluations conducted.

All existing chemicals, previously exempted, will now have to go through the same risk evaluation. During the next several years, risk evaluations will be required from manufacturers and/or importers on a phased-in basis.

The REACH Directive does offer partial or full exemptions for certain materials:

R&D Uses. To prevent the Directive from unnecessarily hampering R&D developments, substances used in product- or process-development do not need to be registered for up to 5-years

Special Uses. Some special use chemicals, especially related to Food and Medical Products Sectors, have different requirements

Currently, about 30,000 chemicals are thought to be used in the EU at volumes greater than 1 ton/year. About 16% of these have come into the market since 1981 and have been regulated as “new” chemicals and were evaluated using the previous regulatory framework. Therefore, about 84% of the materials currently being used in the EU will require assessment for chemical risks.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at
Caltha LLP Website

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