The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) last week updated its "Priority List" of chemical substances of very high concern. The trade union organization is pushing to have most of the chemicals in its list to require authorization under REACH.
According to their press release, the "Trade Union List version 2.0 includes 334 substances or group of substances ordered by priority, this represents 29 new entries compared to the first version published in March 2009. Most of these substances are identified as causative agents for recognised occupational diseases in the EU countries." So far the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has only identified 38 substances as candidates for authorization. ETUC wants to see this process sped up.
The ETUC is convinced that including the union-listed chemicals in the Authorisation List would cut the incidence of chemical-related occupational diseases and the attendant costs for the community, workers and industry itself. It will also be a strong incentive for companies to innovate and replace them by safer alternatives.
The ETUC list can be downloaded here.