Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
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different liquids in glass containers

Chemicals: REACH requires their classification© EC (2007)

Varese (IT) - 29/04/08

Fifteen years of monitoring dangerous chemicals in the EU


On 29 April 2008, a conference takes place in Varese, Italy to celebrate the European Chemicals Bureau's (ECB) contribution to EU legislation in the chemicals field. The ECB, located at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, celebrates 15 years of monitoring dangerous chemicals, and hands over its experience to the newly created European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki.

Established in 1993, the European Chemicals Bureau (ECB) carried out all the scientific and technical work needed to implement EU legislation related to chemicals. Throughout these fifteen years, the ECB has played an important role in ensuring a high level of protection for workers, consumers and the environment through the identification of dangerous chemicals.

The ECB has contributed substantially to the new chemicals regulation, REACH, that entered into force 1 June 2007, This regulation provides a more coherent legislation in this field, replacing about 40 pieces of existing legal text. The REACH regulation will improve human health and the environment while maintaining the competitiveness of the chemicals industry.

The ECB will officially hand over its activities to the new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on 1st June 2008.