This morning's Washington Post features a front-pager (so far left on the front page that it almost falls off) that fails to explain the real thrust of the European Union's new regulations on chemical safety and implies that U.S. authorities and industry fail to protect us from toxic materials. Setting aside the article's obvious and flawed agenda, the U.S. has had an effective chemical regulatory system in place for over 30 years and, with the emergence of Brussels' REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization of Chemicals) Regulation, a debate is starting to heat up on whether updates are needed to the Toxic Substances Control Act. Brussels put REACH in place in part to fix its own system and replace a patchwork of three separate and overlapping regulations it had for chemicals. And there is no secret that the Europeans are actively promoting REACH as a global model. Meanwhile, Washington, led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is working cooperatively with Canada and Mexico to review and share data on toxic substances.
To get down to brass tacks and learn more about what U.S. companies need to know about REACH, check out this two-page explanation generated by the new EU Chemicals Agency, whose job is to make the regulation work. To get more information on NEMA's view of REACH, check out our white paper.