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RAC to lay bases for ECHA's scientific opinions
Feb '08
The Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) met in Helsinki for the first time 29 – 31 January. This meeting initiated the work towards assessing the risks of chemicals and their appropriate risk management measures. The Committee discussed its operating rules and reached an agreement on most provisions. It also agreed on the way of processing dossiers for which RAC opinions would be sought.

ECHA's Executive Director, Geert Dancet, said in his opening statement: “The Agency relies heavily on the Committee members' expertise and efforts to produce its opinions. The combined expertise now available will form a solid base to carry out the tasks ahead of us, and provide the scientific grounds on which the Commission can take decisions within the strict deadlines imposed by the Regulation.”

The Committee for Risk Assessment plays a vital role in assessing the risk to human health and/or the environment arising from the uses of substances for which authorisation is being sought. It also evaluates whether the restrictions proposed by a Member State for a substance are appropriate. In addition, RAC evaluates proposals for harmonised classification and labelling of substances as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction, or as respiratory sensitizers.

The Committee for Risk Assessment consists at this stage of 37 members; most of the Member States have nominated one or two members and the Management Board has appointed them on 17 December 2007 for a 3-year term.

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