Socio-economic analysis in REACH

Socio-economic analysis is a well established method of weighing up the pros and cons of an action for society as a whole and plays a vital role in the restrictions and authorisation processes under REACH. Restrictions proposals need to contain a description of the risks as well as information on the health and environmental benefits, the associated costs and other socio-economic impacts. Companies that apply for an authorisation to use substances in the Authorisation List may include a socio-economic analysis as part of their application.


Methodology development

ECHA is active in developing and promoting the application of socio-economic analysis in the field of regulating chemicals.


Costs of risk management

ECHA is working to assess the compliance costs of reducing emissions or use of specific chemicals by using alternative substances or techniques. This is relevant in both authorisation and restriction processes, as compliance costs of risk management options are one of the key issues that the Socio-economic Analysis Committee needs to give an opinion on when examining a restriction proposal or a request for authorisation.


Willingness to pay to avoid certain health impacts

ECHA recently commissioned a study to examine the economic value of benefits of avoiding selected adverse human health outcomes due to exposure to chemicals. This information can be used in socio-economic analysis, in the evaluation of health and environmental impacts of chemicals.


Understanding socio-economic analysis

With the aim of increasing the understanding of the role of socio-economic analysis as part of chemicals risk management, ECHA organises workshops, seminars and other events to build the capacity of Member States and stakeholders to perform socio-economic analysis.


Data sources for socio-economic analysis

ECHA maintains a website with a number of sources of information that may be of use to those preparing a socio-economic analysis under REACH.