What is REACH?

REACH is a new European community regulation on chemicals and their safe use. REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals.

Registration: Companies in the EU making or importing more than one ton of a chemical substances per year register in a central database. Producer/Importer would have to collect and submit information on each chemical properties, uses and safe handling. Testing may be required.

Evaluation: Public authorities would look in more detail at registration dossiers and at substances of concern.

Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances: Use-Specific permission would be necessary for chemicals that cause cancer, mutation or problems with reproduction, or those which accumulate in bodies and environment. The European commission and the European Chemicals Agency would have the power to restrict the use of certain substances in the Eu.It is estimated that the first list of authorization will include about 900 SVHC; and the SVHC will be increased to 15,00 after 11 years.

REACH has come into force in June 2007 to replace 40 existing chemicals regulations and directives. Substances in volumes over one ton per year must neither manufactures nor imported in the EU (even in preparation/Mixtures and articles under certain conditions), unless they are registered.

It is assumed that about 100,000 substances defined as "existing chemicals" will be altered by REACH. There is a list of more than 700 chemicals will regulate and list of chemicals revised at least once per year required by Act.

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The Author is associated with Textile Centre.PCSI Labs, Karachi