ECHA executive highlights Reach chemical regulation challenges

03 October 2011 18:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has identified the key challenges it faces with regards to the EU’s Reach chemical regulation process, executive director Geert Dancet said on Monday.

Thousands of companies submitted almost 25,000 dossiers for the most hazardous and commonly used chemicals in Europe, and over 3m notifications of hazardous chemicals.

Dancet said the first challenge is to evaluate as many of the submitted dossiers as possible, because evaluation is important for the future of Reach.

“It means we can have confidence in the information provided in individual dossiers, but also enables us to see which substances require further risk-management measures,” Dancet said.

“In 2013 we aim to have evaluated 5% of the dossiers submitted by the first registration deadline [30 November 2010],” Dancet added.

Identifying substances of very high concern (SVHC) is also a key challenge for Reach, Dancet said.

“We need to work hand in hand with the member states and the [European] Commission, who are the primary initiators of the authorisation process,” he added.

Dancet said the ECHA's third challenge focused on new scientific developments.

"ECHA needs to provide the European institutions with high-quality advice on important and emerging risk-management issues related to nanomaterials, endocrine disrupters and the combined effect of chemicals," he said.

The fourth challenge is providing information on chemicals for everyone, Dancet said.

“We are working with our stakeholders to strike the best balance between disclosing as much [information] as we can and protecting confidential business information,” he said.

Dancet said the final challenge is taking on the responsibilities under the forthcoming regulations on Biocides and on Prior Informed Consent (PCI).

“Thanks to specific funding from the European Commission, we have started to prepare for the biocide-related work and we look forward to increasing these activities once the legislation is adopted and the necessary resources are made available,” he added.

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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