What exactly is REACH?
The REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and restriction of CHemicals) was adopted on 18 December 2006 by the council of the European Union and entered into force on 1 June 2007. Over a period of 11 years it aims to set up a registration system for chemical substances manufactured or imported in the European Union (at least one ton per year per substance).
There are three phases in the REACH process:
- Registration of the chemical substances: manufacturers and importers are required to submit a dossier containing data about product dangers, risk evaluation and appropriate risk management measures.
- Evaluation of dossiers and chemical substances: the aim of this step is to ensure the compliance of the dossiers, data validity, and to request additional information. The purpose of substance evaluation is to make sure that the use of these substances is not harmful to human health or the environment.
- Authorization: some substances are classified as of very high concern (SVHC). The use of these substances is subject to authorization in order to reduce the risk to human health and the environment.
The European Union created an agency responsible for the technical and administrative aspects of this system – the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), based in Helsinki (Finland).
In addition to REACH, there is the CLP regulation (Classification, Labelling and Packaging) related to the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures. The latter regulation is based on the GHS classification system.
New rules for the chemical industry
The aim of the european regulation REACH is to improve knowledge about the hazards and conditions of use of chemical substances produced and imported in Europe. REACH is a system of registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemical substances.
The Arkema group supports the objectives of this regulation. It has implemented an organization to meet the requirements of REACH.
In the end, the chemical industry will be able to better meet the legitimate expectations of society, thereby increasing society’s trust in this industry."
Experts in toxicology, ecotoxicology and regulatory requirements
At the heart of the system, groups of toxicologists and ecotoxicologists are working to improve the characterization of the hazards of chemical substances which are manufactured, imported and sold by the Group. These experts work in conjunction with regulatory affairs specialists responsible for the coordination, risk evaluation and preparation of registration files. They also liaise with a network of regulatory contacts in the Business Units, industrial sites, subsidiaries, R&D centers and other divisions. This system is supervised by a steering sommittee at the executive committee level.
What REACH represents for the Arkema group?
In all, the Group will have registered 425 substances during the various phases of registration of the REACH regulation and the extended SDS (extended Safety Data Sheet) are made available to customers in a REACH-specific format.
- 425 substances registered
- A direct cost of €65 million from 2008 to 2020
- The equivalent of more than 30 full-time staff mobilized for this project