Cefic welcomes Commission study on benefits of EU chemical legislation

Date

31 Aug 2016

Sections

Innovation & Enterprise
Science & Policymaking

Press release

Brussels, 31 August 2016 – Cefic welcomes a study by the EU Commission that establishes indicators to evaluate the benefits of chemical safety legislation for human health and the environment. The study is significant because developing a system of indicators will help experts assess the overall value of chemical laws like REACH and CLP for its second review in 2017.

While the study points to the difficulty in making a concrete link between legislation and its benefits on human health and the environment - as opposed to technical or economic factors - it claims that REACH has stimulated investment by companies in improved risk management measures. Despite the acknowledged costs for EU chemical companies – most of which are SMEs – evidenced in an earlier Commission study, the report points out certain benefits.

Click here to view the entire report

Says Erwin Annys, REACH Director, Cefic: “This study shows that the improvements in risk management procedures and environmental management by companies continues to have a positive influence. REACH supports companies by offering a holistic, Europe-wide framework to establish the safety of chemical substances in specific applications. In particular, REACH requires a chemical substance be assessed over its entire lifecycle and not only limited to the production of the chemical.”

In regard to human health, the study reports on reduced incidences of occupational asthma and skin disorders since the advent of chemical legislation. Cefic welcomes this evidence as it endorses the strong efforts made by industry to improve the safe use of chemicals. This is particularly valuable as REACH heads towards the new registration deadline for smaller volumes of substances in 2018, which will involve many chemical SMEs.

Mr. Annys also points out that “By fulfilling REACH authorisation and restriction obligations when deciding if a substance should continue to be used or not, companies must demonstrate that the particular substance provides a clear advantage for society. The study shows the important role legislation plays in making progress on these issues.” Industry will continue to demonstrate its commitment in offering European consumers and the environment the strongest health and safety protection of any global region.

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