On 19 April, Members of Parliament (MEP)s
discussed the new EU chemicals strategy with representatives from the European Commission (EC) and
the Swedish Council presidency during the plenary session in Strasbourg. This
was published by the EC in October 2020 and it was titled “Chemicals
Strategy for Sustainability Towards a Toxic-Free Environment". It is
part of the EU's committed objective to attain climate neutrality by 2050 under
the European Green Deal.
When will the REACH be revised?
people's health, drinkable water and usable soil: we must eliminate durable
pollutants and strengthen EU chemicals legislation now" was the agenda
item in the plenary session. Revising the REACH regulation is an essential part
of the chemicals strategy, but it was postponed last year (see
News 11/22) and it is urgently awaited.
Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets
Union, Maired McGuiness, commented that the EC had already accepted the
urgency of the revision as stated by the Committee for the Environment, Public
Health and Food Safety (ENVI) as well as during the parliamentary debate. She
stressed that the EC was working on the proposal with great urgency. The impact
assessment has already been completed, the draft regulation is on its way and
is scheduled for the fourth quarter. The revised regulation is urgently needed
to create market incentives for safe and sustainable chemicals and it must be
related to health and environmental benefits as well as benefits for the
economy and the workforce.
Introduction of new hazard classes
The chemicals strategy also includes the
delegated regulation about the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of
Chemicals (CLP), which has been
in force since 20 April. It introduced new hazard classes for so-called
endocrine disruptors, i.e. substances that can affect or hamper normal hormone
activity and chemicals that are not biodegradable and can possibly accumulate
in living organisms. However, it remains to be seen to what extent the
regulation will increase the protection of workers.
Recommendations from German Social Insurance
German Social Insurance European Representation prepared a
about the various aspects and regulations in the EU Chemicals Strategy back
in October of last year.