Yesterday the European Union Parliament adopted the compromise text for the European chemicals regulation, REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals). The REACH regulation will be enforced in June 2007, and a six month time frame for pre-registration of substances currently in use will be between June 2007 and December 2007.
Changes from the December 2005 version of REACH are:
1) An emphasis on alternative testing methods
2) Reference to the chemical industry's legal duty of care
3) Adoption of substitution principle for authorized substances
4) Deadline for the first phase extended to 42 months
5) Intellectual property protection extended from 10 to 12 years
6) List of pre-registered substances includes phase-in registration date
According to Parliament, the direct costs of supplying safety information about a substance range from €20,000 to €400,000 (US$26,528 to US$530,560), depending on the volume of data requirements. Manufacturers will be required to substitute safer alternatives to the 1,500 most dangerous chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer, birth defects and other serious illnesses. If alternatives don't exist, industry is expected to fund R&D to find them. Under the compromise regulators will be able to make exceptions for chemicals whose use in certain instances is considered more beneficial than detrimental to public health.
Did you know that Cosmetics&Toiletries is hosting a REACH summit proceeding In Cosmetics 2007? For information on speakers or attending, click here.