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Evaluating EU legislation on industrial chemicals

A report assessing the operation of the four main legal instruments governing industrial chemicals has recently been adopted by the European Commission, in response to a public concern about the circulation of chemicals. This legislation governs the classification, packaging a...
A report assessing the operation of the four main legal instruments governing industrial chemicals has recently been adopted by the European Commission, in response to a public concern about the circulation of chemicals. This legislation governs the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances (Directive 67/54/EEC) and preparations (Directive 88/379/EEC), the evaluation and control of the risks of existing substances (Regulation 793/93) and restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (Directive 76/769/EEC). The report assesses chemicals in terms of both the protection of human health and the environment in the overall context of the internal market.

In general, the findings highlight the need to use the instruments more efficiently, ensuring a more vigorous and consistent implementation and enforcement. The report also highlights the need to streamline and develop the instruments currently used in order to take account of new emerging problems, for example endocrine disruptors. The findings also recognise the important role of sound science but highlight the need to address concerns by giving full consideration to the precautionary principle.

On the basis of the report, the Commission intends to prepare a communication on the way forward for chemicals legislation in the EU. The communication will be based on the conclusions of the review and will set out the strategy for the future, including any legislative options.
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