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Editorial: The EU REACH System: Blessing in Disguise or Wolf in Wolf’s Clothing?


Nirmala Bhogal

For many years, caveats in the existing EU legislation for chemical testing have allowed a substantial number of chemicals with ill-defined human health or environmental effects to be produced in or imported into Europe. Amidst growing public concern, EU legislators have formulated a new European chemicals policy in the form of the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) system, which aims to ensure the protection of human health and the environment, maintain the competitiveness of the European chemical industry, and prevent fragmentation of the internal market. REACH has now been approved in principle by the European Parliament and the European Council, and could be in force by 2007.