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Health and safety at work

REACH

CLP:

What's new

Health and safety at work aspects

The Health and Safety Executive has information and guidance on the health and safety at work aspect of the manufacture, storage, transport, use and disposal of chemicals.

Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals

REACH is a European Union regulation [EC 1907/2006] concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals. It came into force on 1st June 2007 and replaced a number of European Directives and Regulations with a single system.

The aims of REACH include:

* provision of a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the use of chemicals;

* making the people who place chemicals on the market (manufacturers and importers responsible for understanding and managing the risks associated with their use;

* allowing the free movement of substances on the EU market;

* enhancing innovation in and the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry;

* promoting the use of alternative methods for the assessment of the hazardous properties of substances e.g. quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR).

Scope and exemptions

REACH applies to substances manufactured or imported into the EU in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year. Generally, it applies to all individual chemical substances on their own, in preparations or in articles (if the substance is intended to be released during normal and reasonably foreseeable conditions of use from an article).

Some substances are specifically excluded:

* Radioactive substances

* Substances under customs supervision

* The transport of substances

* Non-isolated intermediates

* Waste

* Some naturally occurring low-hazard substances

Some substances, covered by more specific legislation, have tailored provisions, including:

* Human and veterinary medicines

* Food and foodstuff additives

* Plant protection products and biocides

Other substances have tailored provisions within the REACH legislation, as long they are used in specified conditions:

* Isolated intermediates

* Substances used for research and development

Registration Process

A major part of REACH is the requirement for manufacturers or importers of substances to register them with a central European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). A registration package will be supported by a standard set of data on that substance. The amount of data required is proportionate to the amount of substance manufactured or supplied.

If a substance is not registered, no data will then be available and as a result noone may manufacture or supply them legally, i.e. no data, no market.

Supply/Use Duties


Classification and labelling

An important part of chemical safety is clear information about any hazardous properties of a substance. The classification of different chemicals according to their characteristics (for example, those that are corrosive, or toxic to fish, etc.) currently follows an established system, which is reflected in REACH. The EU CLP regulation (in force from January 2009) dovetails with REACH.


Information in the supply chain

The passage of information up and down the supply chain is a key feature of REACH. Users should be able to understand what manufacturers and importers know about the dangers involved in using chemicals and how to control risks. However, in order for suppliers to be able to assess these risks they need information from the users about how they are used. REACH provides a framework in which information can be passed both up and down supply chains.

REACH adopts and builds on the previous system for passing information - the Safety Data Sheet PDF. This should accompany materials down through the supply chain, providing the information users need to ensure chemicals are safely managed. In time thes

e Supply/Use Duties


Classification and labelling

An important part of chemical safety is clear information about any hazardous properties of a substance. The classification of different chemicals according to their characteristics (for example, those that are corrosive, or toxic to fish, etc.) currently follows an established system, which is reflected in REACH. A new EU CLP regulation will come into force from January 2009 and will dovetail with REACH.


Information in the supply chain

The passage of information up and down the supply chain is a key feature of REACH. Users should be able to understand what manufacturers and importers know about the dangers involved in using chemicals and how to control risks. However, in order for suppliers to be able to assess these risks they need information from the users about how they are used. REACH provides a framework in which information can be passed both up and down supply chains.

Safety data sheets

REACH adopts and builds on the previous system for passing information - the Safety Data Sheet. This should accompany materials down through the supply chain, providing the information users need to ensure chemicals are safely managed. In time these safety data sheets will include information on safe handling and use.

CLP Regulation

European Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures came into force on 20 January 2009 in all EU Member States, including the UK. It is known by its abbreviated form, ‘the CLP Regulation’ or just plain ‘CLP’.

The CLP Regulation adopts the United Nations’ Globally Harmonised System on the classification and labelling of chemicals (GHS) across all European Union countries, including the UK.

As GHS is a voluntary agreement rather than a law, it has to be adopted through a suitable national or regional legal mechanism to ensure it becomes legally binding. That’s what the CLP Regulation does.

As GHS was heavily influenced by the old EU system, the CLP Regulation is very similar in many ways. The duties on suppliers are broadly the same: classification, labelling and packaging.

The existing legislation on classification, labelling and packaging has been agreed at European Union level and, from 2015, will be directly applied on all EU member states, including the UK.

The rules they have to follow when they are classifying will change though, and a new set of hazard pictograms (quite similar to the old ones) are used:

GHS hazard pictograms

 

explosiveflammablecorrosivetoxic

human healthgas bottlesenvironmental

 

flammable

[Source: the above information is extracted from and contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence. Any errors and omissions are those of Legaleze.]

 

What's new items on this topic [see What's new page or archive for full story]:

13/02/2018: Restricted chemicals found in products sold in Europe

Source: https://echa.europa.eu/-/inspectors-find-phthalates-in-toys-and-asbestos-in-second-hand-products

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) inspectors have found that hundreds of consumer products sold across the EU and EEA contain illegally high levels of restricted phthalates. The ECHA’s enforcement forum project was conducted across 27 European countries and found that toys, leather products and jewellery originating from unidentified origins and China were among the products that contained the highest concentrations of the chemicals. The ECHA will work with enforcement authorities to analyse further products on the market and urge companies and suppliers to exchange more detailed information regarding the chemical composition of their products.

The project report details high levels of chemicals, restricted under registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH), present in products on the European market. ECHA inspectors in 27 European countries tested 5,625 products, targeting mixtures, articles and substances, and found that 18% did not comply with REACH restrictions.

The report showed that among the products tested:

* one in five toys contained bis(2-ethylhexyl), dibutyl phthalate or benzyl butyl phthalate at levels above those permitted;

* 14% of brazing fillers and 12% jewellery had a high concentration of cadmium;

* 13% leather articles included a large amount of chromium VI;

* 14% of products contained asbestos, including second hand items such as thermos flasks, and brake pads, which may have been produced prior to regulations regarding asbestos.

The products which breached the regulations were found to have mostly originated in unidentified locations (39%) or China (17%).

ECHA places responsibility with the companies selling products, encouraging them to get clear information from suppliers regarding the chemical composition of their products. Increased product testing, and clearer agreements between suppliers which require products to meet regulation standards are methods of doing this.

The ECHA will conduct further analysis on products on the European market to continue enforcing REACH restrictions.

 

19/01/2015: CLP Regulation takes over CHIP Regulation


The EU Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP Regulation) implemented in the EU the United Nations Globally Harmonised System on the classification and labelling of chemicals. The prime objective of that system was to introduce a classification system recognised internationally and thereby remove barriers to trade that currently exist due to the different systems being used worldwide. Chemicals are classified and labelled so that those using them have information about their hazardous effects to enable them to take suitable precautions to protect both people and the environment.

The CLP Regulation has been progressively implemented since 2009 and will come fully into force on 1 June 2015. It replaces the current EU classification system for hazardous chemicals in the Dangerous Substances Directive (DSD) and Dangerous Preparations Directive (DPD), which currently deal with the classification, hazard communication and packaging of chemicals in the EU. These Directives were implemented in the UK by the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009 (CHIP). The CHIP Regulations were revoked by the Biocidal Products and Chemicals (Appointment of Authorities and Enforcement) Regulations 2013, the revocations first taking effect on 1 June 2015.

The EU Directive 2014/27/EU1 amends 5 health and safety Directives to align them with the CLP Regulation. The Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Chemicals (Amendments to Secondary Legislation) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 No. 21) (CLP UK Regulation) transpose Directive 2014/27/EU by amending the relevant UK domestic legislation.

[Page updated: 22/02/2018]

 

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