REACh is a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals. It came into force on 1st June 2007 and combined a number of separate European Directives and Regulations with a single system applicable across all EU member states.
REACh has several aims:
There are several steps impacting substance supply under the REACH regulations:
Registration – here the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is charged with collating information from market suppliers (manufacturers and importers) on substances traded with the EEA
Evaluation – several committees and individual member states review all available registered data, scientific and consultation opinion with regards to a substance
For certain substances their risk to human health or the environment may be significant enough to warrant removal from the supply chain, in the event that Socio-Economic argument derives a benefit in continued supply whilst alternatives are sourced the substance would become subject to Authorisation i.e. only used by end-users/operators in the manner described in their individual and approved application
For other substances their risk to human health or the environment may not warrant total withdrawal from the supply chain but risks may be more prevalent for certain groups e.g. children’s development. Here a restriction will be placed upon the supply chain to eliminate the risk to a distinct group. For example a substance may remain permitted for use in an industrial product but will not be permitted in child care articles and toys
REACh applies to substances manufactured or imported into the EU in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year. Generally, it applies to all individual chemical substances on their own, in preparations or in articles (if the substance is intended to be released during normal and reasonably foreseeable conditions of use from an article).
Some substances are specifically excluded:
Some substances, covered by more specific legislation, have tailored provisions, including:
COSHH and REACH sit side-by-side. Both of them call for risk assessment.
The main obligations
|Who must assess risk?||The employer||The manufacturer or importer, mostly|
|What substances?||Hazardous to health, including those arising from processes and germs||Manufactured or imported in quantities of 10 or more tonnes per year in the EU|
|What duty?||Control exposure in all uses by site and process-specific measures||Develop exposure scenarios and identify ‘Risk Management Measures' for named tasks and procedures|
For further information: http://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/whatisreach.htm
Source of Information: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eutr2013/index_en.htm