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Research needs for regulating hazardous chemicals updated


The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has updated its report on key areas of regulatory challenge. The report now gives more detailed information on the areas where scientific research is needed to protect people and the environment from hazardous chemicals.

Helsinki, 12 June 2024  – To continue improving the regulation of hazardous chemicals in the EU, more scientific research and development of methodologies are needed. 
In 2023, ECHA introduced its key research needs, aligning them with the areas identified in the EU's Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS). This initiative was part of the Agency’s effort to address its main regulatory challenges under the Partnership for the Assessment of Risk from Chemicals (PARC). More scientific research is needed in the following areas: 

  • Protection against most harmful chemicals: Neurotoxicity, Immunotoxicity and Endocrine disruption;
  • Addressing chemical pollution in the environment: Bioaccumulation, Assessing non-bee (NBP) pollinators’ sensitivity to biocides, expanding protection of biodiversity using New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) and new approaches to monitor chemicals present in the environment;
  • Shifting away from animal testing: Read-across and NAMs, In vitro/in silico absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) and Physiologically-Based Kinetic (TK) models, short and long-term fish toxicity and carcinogenicity; and
  • Improved availability on chemical data: Polymers, micro- and nano-sized materials and new analytical methods for enforcement.

Dr Sharon McGuinness, ECHA’s Executive Director, said: 

“We have updated this report to provide more detailed information on regulatory topics that need more research, for example to address bioaccumulation and further develop toxicokinetic models. Our hope is that the research community will respond positively to our call.

“This update is in line with ECHA’s Strategy Statement 2024-2028 that aims to expand knowledge on chemical safety and to promote alternative methods for the assessment of hazards and risks of chemicals.”


The key areas of regulatory challenge report is part of an evolving research and development agenda aiming to support and inspire PARC and the wider research community. The list of research needs is not exhaustive. The report reflects ECHA’s current priorities and also the future tasks coming within the ECHA mandate.
PARC is a seven-year EU-wide research and innovation programme under Horizon Europe which aims to advance research, share knowledge and improve skills in chemical regulatory risk assessment. ECHA’s role in PARC is to make sure that the funded scientific research addresses current regulatory challenges related to chemical risk assessment and adds value to EU’s regulatory processes.

Press contact: Mikko Väänänen,, +358 40 520 3513