REACH: European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use

REACH is the European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006).

  • It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances.
  • The law entered into force on 1 June 2007.

The REACH Regulation places greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances.

  • Manufacturers and importers are required to gather information on the properties of their chemical substances, which will allow their safe handling, and to register the information in a central database run by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki.
  • The Agency acts as the central point in the REACH system: it manages the databases necessary to operate the system, co-ordinates the in-depth evaluation of suspicious chemicals and is building up a public database in which consumers and professionals can find hazard information.
  • REACH provisions are being phased-in over 11 years.
  • The Regulation also calls for the progressive substitution of the most dangerous chemicals when suitable alternatives have been identified.

Explanations of REACH on the ECHA website, in particular in the guidance documents, and also in REACH in Brief.
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