Glossary:Registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH)

The Regulation 1907/2006 for registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals, abbreviated as REACH, came into force in June 2007. Its major objective is to ensure a high level of protection for human health and the environment in the European Union, by increasing knowledge about the hazardous properties of chemicals. The REACH Regulation puts greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks that chemicals may pose to health and the environment.

The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the hazardous properties of chemical substances, while at the same time enhancing the innovative capacity and competitiveness of the EU chemical industry. The benefits of the REACH system will come gradually, as more and more substances are phased into this Regulation. The Regulation also calls for the progressive substitution of the most dangerous chemicals when suitable alternatives have been identified.

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