Azara Blog: New EU chemical rules come into effect

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Date published: 2007/06/01

The BBC says:

Legislation requiring the safety testing of tens of thousands of chemicals - many in everyday use - has come into effect across the EU.

For the first time, it will be up to industry, rather than the regulatory authorities, to prove that chemicals are safe.

But environmental and consumer groups say the new rules do not go far enough.

About 30,000 chemicals are covered by the new rules - from paints to flame retardants to fragrances in shampoos.

Safety data will be required for all of them.

The most hazardous - chemicals which can cause cancer or changes in genetic material - will have to undergo further testing.

If there is a safer alternative, producers will have to substitute it, unless there is a strong case for continuing to use the existing chemical.

But environmental campaigners say the new rules, known as REACH, leave too many loopholes.

The new requirements will be phased in between now and 2018.

The most hazardous chemicals will have to be registered first, along with those used in the largest quantities.

Producers are already working together to share the cost of testing, which the European Commission reckons at up to 10bn euros (£7bn) spread over 11 years.

But it says that is offset by the benefits to health and the environment: 97bn euros (£66bn) saved in health costs over the next three decades.

The BBC fails to tell us how many animals are going to have to be tortured and killed to "prove" that these chemicals are "safe". All courtesy of the so-called "environmental campaigners". Of course these people hate the chemical industry and what they are really trying to do is just to make it more expensive for the industry to operate. It will make research and development of new chemicals less likely. The fact that millions of animals will be needlessly tortured and killed is, for the so-called environmentalists, just a "sacrifice worth (something else) making".

And the claim that the EU will be over 3 billion Euros a year better off with REACH is not verifiable, so is worthless. Is this alleged saving being assumed in EU budgets? Perhaps they will claim that all the savings are far off in the future, when today's politicians and bureaucrats are long gone so will bear no consequence for broken promises.

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