News Analysis

Restrictions on Widely Used Chemicals Sought

The European Chemicals Agency, which coordinates the REACH program in the European Union (EU), recommended in June 2009 that seven chemicals, most of which are widely used in construction products, should be restricted. If adopted by the EU, these recommendations could significantly affect polystyrene insulation and flexible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products.

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of CHemicals) is the groundbreaking law in the EU that went into effect in June 2007 to restrict the use of chemicals posing risks to human health and the environment (see

EBN June 2007). Under REACH, new chemicals must be shown to be reasonably safe before coming onto the market (in the U.S., by contrast, most chemicals are considered safe until proven hazardous), and

Published June 30, 2009