‘The former EC legislative framework for chemical substances was a patchwork of many different Directives and Regulations’
‘This system did not produce sufficient information about
the effects of the majority of existing chemicals on human health and the environment.’
‘Since 1993, only 141 high-volume chemicals
were identified as priority substances for risk assessment’
When looking at the legislation that is protecting us, it has many different levels. The top-level relevant for us as belgium citizen is the European level. To protect the environment and the citizens of Europa, there is more than 40 years of guidelines and pacts being made.
Because of historical background these legislations started with country’s in charge of testing which chemicals should be considered dangerous. It proved to be to hard for much country’s to keep up with the speed of development. This lead to a huge safety risk which much policy makers wouldn’t want to stand for.
To counter this REACh was put in place. The meaning of REACh is Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances. What this actually means is that there has been a shift in responsibility. Before it was a country’s responsibility to prove a product was unhealthy or unsafe, as for now each producer has to register his products in a central database, and prove it does not harm man and nature more than it’s competitors products does.
This law has only been in place since 1 June 2007
Talk with Dr. Luc Peeters , R&D Manager HPPD-LP at Kaneka