04 April 2007 18:30 [Source: ICIS news]
In a 140-page report comparing chemical regulatory practices in Canada, the US and the EU, author Richard Denison said most of the best practices he identified in the Reach programme would develop “information sufficient to provide a reasonable assurance of safety for chemicals” that are already in broad commercial use.
However, he said the 30-year-old US Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) approach to evaluating the environmental safety of new chemicals in many respects provides better government review of substances than Reach does for existing compounds.
“I think Reach needs a significantly enhanced and mandatory government review process for the information that will be coming in” under the registration process, he said.
Despite that shortcoming,
“The information aspects and the broad sharing of that information under Reach are enormous steps forward,”
“For even if the EU government does not take on the assessment and authorisation task as fast as it should, the information generated in the registration process will be available to everyone - customers, suppliers, retailers, academics, NGOs [non-governmental organisations] and other levels of government, including US states,” he said.
“All those players have a role now in deciding how the market treats chemicals. This has enormous potential to change the global dynamic,” he said.
“Reach certainly has strong potential to become the global standard,”
Even countries outside the EU, he said, will come to expect the level of chemical product information now demanded by Reach.
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