The EU is leading the world on safer chemicals
The European Union is leading the world in making the use of chemicals safer. Margot Wallstrom and her colleagues in the European Commission, all the EU member states and the European Parliament worked over seven years to agree the most groundbreaking piece of legislation on safer chemicals in the world. It's called REACH. Companies throughout the EU who make, import or use chemicals in their products and manufacturing processes are working now to comply with this challenging legislation.
What these laws in the EU (REACH and Classification, Labelling and Packaging) are trying to do is these things:
- Making companies who manufacture or import chemicals explain clearly and give information on the properties of their chemicals
- Making those same companies explain how that substance is used (it may be used in many different products or industrial processes) and who is likely to be exposed to it
- Controlling the risks presented to human beings and the environment by the most hazardous chemicals by reducing the amount that we are exposed to
- Making sure that hazardous substances are classified and included in a public inventory on ECHA's website, and that any product containing them is labelled and packaged so that consumers and workers are well informed and can use them safely
- Ensuring that, over time, the most dangerous of these chemicals are phased out.