32% of chemicals non-compliant with EU rules

32% of chemicals are non-complaint. [Shutterstock]

A third of chemicals do not comply with European Union rules due to insufficient toxicological data. EURACTIV France’s media partner the Journal de l’environnement reports.

32% of the 1,814 substances authorised by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) under the REACH regulation are non-compliant, according to a study by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

The BfR figures relate to substances produced in quantities over 1,000 tonnes for which an authorisation was filed under the REACH regulation on chemicals. Mostly, they are non-compliant in terms of ecotoxicological risk (61%), mutagenic risk (40%) and reprotoxic risk (34%).

The level of chemicals found to be compliant is 31% and the residual 37% consists of chemicals for which additional data is required.

EU agency launches ‘plain English’ guide to toxic chemicals

A new online guide by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) promises to offer “plain English” information about the hazard profiles of thousands of chemicals, offering a new tool for citizens to hold companies and regulators to account.

Good law, badly policed

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB), an NGO network at EU level, reported that the study, which was presented at a workshop organised by the BfR, angered the chemical industry.

“The chemical industry is violating the law and the police are letting them do so,” said Tatiana Santos, senior policy officer on chemicals at EBB. “This has to change. The EU has the best rules in the world, but these are among the worst applied.”

This situation is similar to that of pesticides, whose manufacturers often abuse the system of confirmation data, including that of the European Union. Under the guise of providing additional toxicological data, their products can remain on the market through persisting exemptions.

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