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Report examines what US can learn from EU chemicals law
Date:2/27/2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- U.S. industry and environmental groups agree that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976 needs to be modernized to better protect public health and the environment. However, there is no consensus on what the reform should look like.

A new report from Indiana University supplies a close examination of the European Union's reformed chemicals law REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), which went into effect in 2006.

After reviewing data and interviewing key stakeholders, including manufacturers, importers and REACH experts, researchers from the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the IU European Union Center have released "Regulating Industrial Chemicals: Lessons for U.S. Policy Makers From the European Union's REACH Program."

"As the U.S. Congress considers whether and how to modernize TSCA, much can be learned from the European experience with REACH," said SPEA Dean John D. Graham, a co-author of the report. "Some aspects of REACH are innovative and promising, while others are overly burdensome and complicated."

While the report examines all areas of REACH, the primary focus is on the program's chemical registration process. REACH shifts the burden of proving safety from the government to industry. REACH's key principle -- "no data, no market" -- compels manufacturers of substances, producers of articles and importers to supply regulators a minimum safety-related data set for a large number of existing chemicals.

"One of our most important conclusions is that there needs to be a clear and consistent definition of 'safety' throughout any new chemical regulatory program," said the report's lead author, Adam Abelkop, a doctoral student in SPEA.

Researchers have identified several aspects of the EU program that merit consideration by U.S. policymakers as well as areas that could be refined and modified to be more transparent, simpl
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Contact: Debbie O'Leary
devoleary@gmail.com
812-327-0018
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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