Thursday, April 8, 2010

European Chemicals Agency to Publish List of Chemicals Being Registered This Year

According to Geert Dancet, the Executive Director of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the agency will soon publish a list of thousands of high volume and high hazard chemicals it expects to be registered by the November 30 deadline for doing so under the EU's Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of CHemicals (REACH) regulation.

Dancet encouraged companies that purchase chemicals used in the European market to review the list to be sure the substances they need and ways they use them will be registered. A newly established "Directors' Contact Group" will review the list and is expected to "identify issues of concern and describe feasible, prioritized solutions" by June 1.

ECHA says it has "a general idea of the number of chemicals" it expects to be registered by the deadline, which it anticipates to be around 9,200 chemicals. The big question is the actual number of registrations since a single chemical may be registered by more than one company. ECHA is expecting the number of registrations to range somewhere between 25,000 and 75,000.

All of this has ramifications for TSCA reform in the US as any major problems, or lack thereof, in this first of three REACH registration deadlines will give some indication of the workability of a general data call-in for all chemicals in the US. As noted yesterday, NGOs are strongly in favor of industry providing at least basic data on all chemicals while industry is stongly in favor of EPA first prioritizing to a short list of chemicals for which specific data requests will then be made to industry.

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