‘Communication is key to chemical safety’: European bodies join forces

Chemical safety in Europe: bodies join forces

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has teamed up with the European Chemistry Industry Council (Cefic) and the Downstream Users of Chemicals Co-ordination group (DUCC) in a bid to strengthen chemical safety through communication.

The three organisations are making combined efforts to improve communications along the supply chain for the use of chemical products in Europe, they say.

They have released a joint statement to assert this commitment, by which they state they are looking to strengthen the application of the REACH framework, “especially as the final registration deadline in 2018 comes into sight.”

Focus on ‘use maps

The bodies note in a statement on the ECHA website that their efforts will centre on tools such as use maps - templates where sectors can share with the wider industry how they are using different chemicals.

Although use maps are regularly used by chemicals-based industries, the three bodies note that their routine use has “not yet been institutionalised”. This is something they want to address.

“Use maps will be increasingly important as more smaller chemicals companies become involved in REACH for the final 2018 registration deadline,” the organisations assert.

Use maps are useful for industries because registrants can use this information when preparing dossiers to register substances, according to the statement, and are recognised as an important input for ensuring these dossiers are of a high quality.

How use maps will be encouraged

Cefic will continue to raise awareness and encourage member companies to employ sector use map information in their upcoming 2018 registrations and when updating existing registration dossiers.

Such outreach is a vital component of Cefic’s role in promoting the highest levels of chemical safety in the EU,” the statement says.

The DUCC will spread awareness of the tool and further improve the use maps in years to come, they state, for the benefits of the producers and users of chemicals in the EU.

ECHA is committed to support the industry in making sure that communication on safe use up and down the supply chain is comprehensive, effective and easy to understand, the body says.

“It will also help industry by hosting these use maps on its website and promoting their use in the years to come.”

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