The EU chemicals legislation REACH needs to be developed and applied more effectively in order to contribute to the environmental quality objective A Non-Toxic Environment. The Swedish Chemicals Agency is now presenting a report to the Government, containing proposals for an improved and more effective REACH.
The Swedish Chemicals Agency considers it necessary to improve REACH in several ways. The principle of substitution, i.e. to substitute hazardous substances, needs to be strengthened. A clearer overall responsibility on the companies is needed to substitute particularly hazardous substances.
The strategy for a Non-Toxic Environment that is to be prepared by 2018 could mean that chemical issues will be more focused on and that the development of REACH is given priority. We consider that the particular sensitivity of children has to be stressed in the EU strategy and be a driving force to substitute hazardous substances, says Lisa Anfält, Head of the EU Coordination unit at the Swedish Chemicals Agency.
The companies´ documentation has to be improved
The quality of the documentation provided by manufacturers and importers to the EU Chemicals Agency ECHA has to be improved. In that way clearer information on the impact of chemicals on humans and the environment could be passed on in the suuply chain.
Another problem pointed out by the Swedish Chemicals Agency is that the process to restrict hazardous chemical substances in REACH needs to be made more efficient. There is also a great need to be able to make risk assessments and restrictions for entire groups of chemicals instead of one substance at a time. This could, for instance, be needed in the case of endocrine disrupting substances and highly fluorinated substances.