After almost 10 years of intense debate at European level, the reform of the EU legislation on chemicals was finally adopted by the European
Parliament and Council in December 2006.
Under REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances), companies manufacturing or importing chemical
substances in quantities of one tonne or more a year will be required to register them to show that they can be used safely. In addition, producers of substances of very high concern, such as carcinogens
or toxins that accumulate in the environment, will need to obtain authorisation before using or placing them on the market.
The new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), based in Helsinki, Finland, will manage the REACH regulation which entered into force in the 27 EU countries in June 2007.
ETUC is convinced that this reform will have huge potential benefits, not only for the health of millions of workers exposed to chemicals on a daily basis, but also for Europe's industrial future.
The ETUC website provides information on a number of the confederation's activities in the field of REACH. This information can be accessed either by topic or type of document at the following links:
- Trade Union Priority List</strong>
- Two Information leaflets on REACH aimed at workers’ reps
- REACH: an opportunity for trade unions
- Press releases
- Fact sheets
- REACH & CLP: 2010: A key year for Chemicals Registration and Notification Act Now! (To download other languages)