EU countries have new legislation, which means tens of thousands of chemicals in everyday use will have to be tested. From today, companies which manufacture or import more than a tonne of a particular chemical per year will have to log the fact at the headquarters of Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals – or REACH – based in Helsinki.
The submission will have to include the companies’ intended testing regime. It is thought up to 30,000 chemicals are covered by the new legislation, which shifts the burden of responsibility for safety onto industry, and away from the regulatory authorities.
The new law requires safety data to be produced on a range of chemicals, from the fragrance in shampoo, to flame retardants. The testing, which is being phased in over the next 11 years, is expected to cost industry up to 10 billion euros.