Joint press release from the Federal Environment Agency and the Federation of German Consumer Organisations
Scope of information about chemicals improved
Five years after REACH - positive balance despite obvious deficits
REACH, the European chemicals regulation, has made a positive impact in its first five years. The enterprises concerned have registered and submitted critical information to the European Chemicals Agency on some 5,500 chemicals. This will make it possible to continue to restrict the use of substances of very high concern in the future. “This clearly owes to the European chemicals regulation REACH; it provides the foundation for more effective regulation of chemicals”, says Jochen Flasbarth, President of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA). However, the quality of the substance dossiers required of industry do not always fulfil requirements, as was shown in several spot checks. Flasbarth said, “The lack of data compromises one of the most important objectives of REACH - that is, to reliably assess the risks posed to mankind and the environment by chemicals.” Consumers have hardly taken advantage of the right to information guaranteed by REACH. Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) and UBA developed an online form to make information more accessible. The Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv) is calling for compulsory labelling on substances of very high concern. REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) legislation entered into force on 1 June 2007.