The European Union (eu) recently passed a controversial chemicals bill after three years of debate between the industry and environmentalists.
The Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (reach) bill will come into force from June 2007. Producers and importers have 11 years to report the properties of around 30,000 chemicals produced or imported in quantities higher than 1 tonne per year and used in everyday products. The most toxic and dangerous chemicals are to be replaced by safer substances. In the absence of alternatives, industry needs to develop safer substitutes. Quantities above 10 tonnes a year additionally require the submission of a Chemical Safety Report. The law creates one regulatory system for all chemicals. Both industry and environmentalists are unhappy with the bill.
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