News Brief

Chemical Restrictions Eased in European REACH Legislation

New European Union (EU) regulations of harmful chemicals have been toned down and made law. The final version of the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) bill requires that persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT), and very persistent, very bioaccumulative (vPvB) chemicals manufactured in or imported into the EU be registered and approved for use by the European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki, Finland, and recommends that less harmful alternatives be used when they exist and are economically feasible. Due in part to lobbying efforts by chemical industries, the U.S., and other chemical exporting countries, language was removed from the bill

requiring that companies develop safer alternatives to PBT and vPvB chemicals if none already exist. The amended bill allows the use of carcinogenic and mutagenic substances if manufacturers prove that they are “adequately controlled.” The regulations go into effect June 1, 2007, and are expected to require the registration of 30,000 chemicals within 11 years.

Published June 7, 2007

Evan, G. (2007, June 7). Chemical Restrictions Eased in European REACH Legislation. Retrieved from

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