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Editorial: The EU REACH System: Opportunities and Threats


Michael Balls

In 2001, the European Commission (EC) issued a White Paper entitled Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy, which was subsequently developed into a proposed system for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), to be applied to all chemicals manufactured and/or used in the European Union (EU), in order to ensure a high level of protection for human health and the environment. This move was prompted by concern that as many as 100,000 “existing” chemicals were already on the EU market before the current legislation concerning “new” chemicals came into force in September 1981.