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EU chemicals regulation nears final stages

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

The European Parliament's environment and public health committee was due to vote on the draft EU chemicals regulation, REACH, on October 4. This is the last of ten EP committees to give its opinion on the text; over 1,000 amendments by five committees were adopted in mid-September. The aim of the text is to prevent exposure to unsafe chemicals, but the European Commission has also stressed the need to safeguard the competitiveness of Europe's industry - and SMEs in particular. The final text may impact the medical device and diagnostics industry's access to materials used in the manufacture and sterilisation of its products. Rapporteur Guido Sacconi now faces the task of having to bring all the amendments together. He fears that so many changes may water down REACH's initial aims of replacing hazardous products, placing a burden of proof on industry and not overloading the future European Agency for Chemical Products. The text will begin to be debated at the Council from this week.

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