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India Plans To Revise Chemical Regulation

by Glenn Hess
April 16, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 16

India needs to establish a new law aimed at protecting human health and the environment from the hazardous effects of chemicals, according to a draft national policy by the country’s Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers. At the same time, the document says the multiple laws and regulations that now govern India’s $108 billion chemical industry should be consolidated. The draft policy cites the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) legislation enacted by the European Union as a model for achieving its goal. “There is a need to create REACH-like legislation in India for the safe use of chemicals” to protect human health and the environment, the document says. REACH, which took effect in June 2007, requires industry to show that chemicals in commerce can be used safely, and it encourages the replacement of hazardous chemicals with safer ones. The draft policy also states that there is a “need for adopting a holistic approach” to chemical regulation. And it calls for the creation of a National Chemical Center, which would be responsible for framing as well as monitoring the implementation of chemical control laws.


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