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REACH - Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals


EC 1907/2006, Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) is a European Union regulation concerning chemicals and their safe uses. REACH is designed to protect human health and the environment by identifying the properties of chemicals before they are used commercially.

REACH is a single system that replaced approximately 40 other European Directives and Regulations. The legistlation took effect June 1, 2007, with phase-in of various compenents continuing through June 1, 2009 and beyond.

Additional Info

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REACH has several goals:

REACH requires manufacturers and importers of substances to register them with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). ECHA manages the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction processes for chemical substances to ensure their safe use as well as the competitiveness of European industry. ECHA began accepting registrations June 1, 2008.

Under REACH, all manufacturers and importers of chemicals must identify and manage risks linked to the substances they manufacture and market. For substances produced or imported in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year per company, manufacturers and importers need to demonstrate that they have appropriately done so by means of a registration dossier which they must submit to ECHA.

Not all substances are covered by REACH. Examples of exempted items include radioactive substances, non-isolated intermediates, and waste. While REACH is designed not to overlap or conflict with other chemical legislation, there are certain classes of materials that are covered by REACH under certain circumstances or with tailored provisions. See Further Reading below for more information.

In 2010, the US equivalent of EU REACH legislation hit the US House as H.R. 5820, the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act of 2010, which would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA) to ensure that the public and the environment are protected from risks resulting from chemical exposure. The bill died in committee amidst industry opposition.

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Manufacturers and importers in the European Union must provide their downstream users with the risk information they need to use the substance safely. This is accomplished via the classification and labelling system and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). See CHIP and GHS for more information.

Further Reading

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See also: CHIP, COSHH, risk phrases, safety phrases, and the International Section of the MSDS FAQ.

Additional definitions from Google and OneLook.

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