The EUROPEAN CHEMICALS AGENCY (ECHA; /ˈɛkə/ _EK-ə_ ) is an
agency of the
European Union which manages the technical, scientific
and administrative aspects of the implementation of the European Union
regulation called Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and
Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). ECHA is the driving force among
regulatory authorities in implementing the EU's chemicals legislation.
ECHA helps companies to comply with the legislation, advances the safe
use of chemicals, provides information on chemicals and addresses
chemicals of concern. It is located in
The Agency, headed by Executive Director Geert Dancet , started working on 1 June 2007.
* 1 Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) * 2 Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP) * 3 Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) * 4 Prior Informed Consent (PIC) * 5 Controlling Hazardous Chemicals * 6 References * 7 See also * 8 External links
REGISTRATION, EVALUATION, AUTHORISATION AND RESTRICTION OF CHEMICALS (REACH)
THE REACH REGULATION requires companies to provide information on the hazards, risks and safe use of chemical substances that they manufacture or import. Companies register this information with ECHA and it is then freely available on their website. So far, thousands of the most hazardous and the most commonly used substances have been registered. The information is technical but gives detail on the impact of each chemical on people and the environment. This also gives European consumers the right to ask retailers whether the goods they buy contain dangerous substances.
CLASSIFICATION, LABELLING AND PACKAGING OF SUBSTANCES AND MIXTURES (CLP)
THE CLASSIFICATION, LABELLING AND PACKAGING REGULATION (CLP) introduces a globally harmonised system for classifying and labelling chemicals into the EU. This worldwide system makes it easier for workers and consumers to know the effects of chemicals and how to use products safely because the labels on products are now the same throughout the world. Companies need to notify ECHA of the classification and labelling of their chemicals. So far, ECHA has received over 5 million notifications for more than 100 000 substances. The information is freely available on their website. Consumers can check chemicals in the products they use.
BIOCIDAL PRODUCTS REGULATION (BPR)
Biocidal products include, for example, insect repellents and disinfectants used in hospitals. The Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) ensures that there is enough information about these products so that consumers can use them safely. ECHA is responsible for implementing the regulation.
PRIOR INFORMED CONSENT (PIC)
The law on Prior Informed Consent (PIC) sets guidelines for the export and import of hazardous chemicals. Through this mechanism, countries due to receive hazardous chemicals are informed in advance and have the possibility of rejecting their import.
CONTROLLING HAZARDOUS CHEMICALS
Substances that may have serious effects on human health and the environment are identified as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)1. These are mainly substances which cause cancer, mutation or are toxic to reproduction as well as substances which persist in the body or the environment and do not break down. Other substances considered as SVHCs include, for example, endocrine disrupting chemicals. Companies manufacturing or importing articles containing these substances in a concentration above 0,1% weight of the article, have legal obligations. They are required to inform users about the presence of the substance and therefore how to use it safely. Consumers have the right to ask the retailer whether these substances are present in the products they buy.
Once a substance has been officially identified in the EU as being of very high concern, it will be added to a list (the Candidate List). This list is available on ECHA’s w