REACH Costs to Spiral?

A very interesting article from RSC discusses concerns expressed by two senior US based toxicologists regarding the potential costs and the likely animal testing requirements resulting from the 'authorisation' stage of the REACH legislation. The issue arises as the number of substances pre-registered for the EU's REACH chemicals legislation hugely exceeded expectations. There were 2.7 million pre-registrations for more than 140,000 substances, instead of the predicted 180,000 registrations for 29,000 substances. The original estimates led to a predicted testing cost of €1.6BN for industry to achieve authorisation but this is now expected to be much higher, with suggestions that the total bill could approach €10BN and that the requirements could possibly exceed the current capacities of the testing laboratories. The decisions on which chemicals must be tested must be made by December 2010. Already, the ECHA has been looking at ways of reducing the testing burden but there is still much work to be done in order to avoid a major bottleneck and a significant increase in animal testing. REACH has already been causing significant headaches for chemical companies, with the issues related to the coordination of the substance information exchange forums (SIEFs). It very much looks like there are yet more challenges to come as we move beyond the SIEFS and into evaluation and authoristion.

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