REACH is a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It came into force on 1st June 2007 and replaced a number of European Directives and Regulations with a single system.
The aims of REACH are:
- To provide a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the use of chemicals.
- To make the people who place chemicals on the market (manufacturers and importers responsible for understanding and managing the risks associated with their use.)
- To allow the free movement of substances on the EU market.
- To enhance innovation in and the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.
- To promote the use of alternative methods for the assessment of the hazardous properties of substances e.g. quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) and read across.
Please note that the legislation has been amended on a number of occasions since its original publication. The amendments made until the end of February 2012 are listed below. The latest consolidated version of REACH (December 2011) is available on the legislation page of the European Chemicals Agency website.