05 December 2003 16:18 [Source: ICIS news]
BRUSSELS (CNI)--The European Commission’s Reach proposals must be improved, Michael Warhurst, senior toxics programme officer at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), told delegates here Friday at the EU Chemicals Policy Conference*.
The registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals regulations must, he said, ensure that the worst chemicals are phased out if safer alternatives are available, and that registration data are sufficient and accurate.
“There needs to be an increase in openness and transparency,” he added, “and improved control of chemicals in imported articles.”
Warhurst also called for the reinstatement of tests and the need to produce a chemical safety report for chemicals produced in quantities of between one and ten tonne a year.
WWF would like to see a requirement for the independent audit of dossiers prior to submission for registration, and an obligation put on EU member states to evaluate a minimum number of submissions.
There are substantial benefits of a strong Reach programme, Warhurst noted. It will provide incentives and markets for the development of safer and greener products, and reduce the impacts of chemicals on the environment and human health, he said.
There will also be benefits to the environment, which have simply been ignored so far in the Commission’s estimates of Reach's advantages, Warhurst claimed.
* Organised by European Chemical News (ECN) and supported by the Weinberg group, the conference concludes today. ECN and CNI are both part of Reed Business Information.
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