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Policy

Report Looks At REACH Compliance

by Sarah Everts
June 7, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 23

A new report finds 24% noncompliance levels among companies inspected for their enforcement of Europe’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization & Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) program. Introduced in 2006, REACH aims to assess the potential health hazards of chemicals introduced to the market before existing safety evaluations for new chemicals were set in place in 1981. In the first phase of REACH, companies operating in Europe have until Nov. 30 to register all chemicals they produce or import in quantities of 1 ton or more annually and to file safety data sheets for those substances. In 2009, nearly 1,600 inspections were carried out in 23 countries in the European Union, as well as Norway and Iceland, which are not part of the EU but will comply with REACH. Some noncompliant companies failed to register substances that will be regulated under REACH while other infringements included incomplete or inaccurately filled out safety data sheets. The European Chemicals Agency, which published the report and oversees REACH compliance, announced that more inspections are being planned.

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