Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances

Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is a European Union regulation dated 18 December 2006. REACH addresses the production and use of chemical substances and their potential impacts on both human health and the environment. It’s 849 pages took seven years to pass, and it has been described as the most complex legislation in the Union’s history and the most important in 20 years. It is the strictest law to date regulating chemical substances and will affect industries throughout the world. REACH entered into force on 1 June 2007, with a phased implementation over the next decade. The regulation also established the European Chemicals Agency, which manages the technical, scientific and administrative aspects of REACH.

REACH also addresses the continued use of chemical substances of very high concern because of their potential negative impacts on human health or the environment. From 1 June 2011, the European Chemicals Agency must be notified of the presence of SVHCs in articles if the total quantity used is more than one tonne per year and the SVHC is present at more than 0.1% of the mass of the object.

In principle, REACH applies to all chemical substances; not only those used in industrial processes but also in our day-to-day lives, for example in cleaning products, paints as well as in articles such as clothes, furniture and electrical appliances. Therefore, the regulation has an impact on most companies across the EU.

If the risks cannot be managed, authorities can restrict the use of substances in different ways. In the long run, the most hazardous substances should be substituted with less dangerous ones.

To learn more about REACH, please feel free to check out the following links:

https://echa.europa.eu/regulations/reach/understanding-reach
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/reach_en.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Registration,_Evaluation,_Authorisation_and_Restriction_of_Chemicals