So what does REACH actually mean? Here we breakdown Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation (and restriction) of CHemicals: Registration – Chemical producers are obliged to register safety data for all chemicals produced in quantities above one tonne a year to a central agency. Less information is required the lower the tonnage of chemicals produced per year, with only very basic information required for 1-10 tonnes.
Evaluation – Experts from Member states and the European Agency will evaluate safety data for higher volume chemicals and other chemicals of concern. Authorisation – Chemicals of “very high concern” would be phased out and replaced by safer alternatives, unless industry can show ‘adequate control’ of the risk from their use or that their benefits outweigh the risks. Under REACH chemicals of very high concern are: • carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins; • (very) persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic; • of similar concern, e.g. endocrine disrupters. Restriction – chemicals may be banned or some uses may be restricted if the European Chemicals Agency, the European Commission or EU Member States consider that action is necessary. Directive Decoder