The use of chemicals in Europe has become considerably safer since the REACH regulation entered into force, according to a European Commission report published today.
More readily available information about chemical substances on the market and better targeted risk management measures mean that risks from substances registered under REACH have significantly decreased. The trend is expected to continue, as industry is continuously working towards finding substitutes for the most hazardous chemicals. Five years after REACH's entry into force, implementation is in full swing. Companies have now registered 30,601 files with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) describing the uses and properties of 7,884 chemical substances manufactured or placed on the market. According to a Eurobarometer survey published today, 61% of Europeans think that chemicals are now safer than 10 years ago.
The report acknowledges the costs related to the administration of REACH and their impact on SMEs, but industry also recognizes the positive economic effects for their business. By further harmonising the internal market, REACH has been a key driver for growth and competitiveness for the chemical industry. To further promote the competitiveness of the European chemical industry, the Commission will soon propose to reduce registration fees for SMEs.
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