Brussels, 10/10/2006

Environment Committee MEPs today endorsed by a large majority Parliament's first reading position on the application of the substitution principle in REACH. The ETUC welcomes this vote, because the rule is wholly in line with European Carcinogens Directive 2004/37/EC which requires employers to replace these dangerous substances where a safer alternative is available.

The ETUC also welcomes the MEPs' confirmation of two other measures previously adopted by Parliament in first reading: a duty for suppliers to prepare a chemical safety report for substances produced in quantities of between 1 and 10 tonnes a year, and a duty of care for all chemicals on the European market.

The first of these measures will help improve risk management for the 20 000 chemicals in this production range, while the second will give industrial suppliers a formal obligation to document and communicate into the production chain all the safety information on their chemicals irrespective of the quantities they are produced in.

The ETUC calls on Council to go with the Environment Committee's line both on the substitution principle and on the chemical safety report and duty of care in the text it negotiates with Parliament in second reading.