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Eight more chemicals proposed for REACH ‘most harmful’ list

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- Chemicals Health Monitor is designed to help people understand the new European system for regulating chemical safety (REACH) enable them to give input about key decisions. The project also provides information to the public to support measures to reduce the harmful effects of hazardous chemicals on health and the environment, and to choose safer alternatives. The Chemicals Health Monitor provides monthly updates on EU chemicals policy, you can sign up for these here

The European chemicals agency has published proposals for eight chemicals to be placed on the EU chemicals legislation REACH’s most harmful list. The proposals are open for public comment until 22 April 2010.

Denmark, France and Germany have proposed eight more chemicals, including tricholoroethylene and boric acid, due to their cancer-causing, gene mutating or reproduction damaging effects, for REACH’s most harmful list. Some of the eight chemicals are used in industrial processes, but also in some cases in consumer products. For instance, boric acid is used in biocides, and Anhydrous Disodium Tetraborate is used in detergents, cleaners, personal care products, biocides and as a flame retardant.

After the public consultation on each of the proposed chemicals, they are subsequently considered and agreed or rejected in the European Chemical Agency’s Member State Committee. If adopted, they are placed on the REACH ‘most harmful’ or so-called Candidate List. The Candidate List currently contains 29 chemicals.

Once a chemical has been officially placed on the candidate list, the European public has a right to know about the presence of these chemicals in products they buy, when they ask. Companies are obliged to respond to consumer right-to-know queries within 45 days of receiving the request, at no charge. Any member of the European public can ask whether a candidate substance is in a product they are buying or considering buying, by submitting a letter such as the model one in the Your Right to Know brochure.

Nearly three years after the REACH system has started, the number of chemicals being proposed for the twice yearly deadline has declined.



Written on 23 March 2010.

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