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September 12, 2007

Greenpeace Releases Activists’ Guide to REACH, Which Addresses Nanomaterials

Lynn L. Bergeson

On August 30, 2007, Greenpeace International (Greenpeace) issued a report entitled Navigating REACH: An Activists’ Guide To Using and Improving the New EU Chemicals Legislation (Guide), which is intended to explain how the European Union’s (EU) Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation will work, what main issues are at stake, and how the law will be implemented. The Guide highlights provisions that non-governmental organizations (NGO) and citizens can use to promote safer chemicals and lead ultimately to better protection of human health and the environment from the adverse impact of hazardous chemicals. The Guide includes nanomaterials among the issues for NGOs:

  • Adding nanomaterials to the scope of the legislation: The NGOs will keep working to highlight the need to improve current legislation to control the risks and manage this rapidly expanding industrial sector. According to the Guide, one of the windows of opportunity is the review of the scope of the legislation, as well as the review of information requirements for substances between one and ten tonnes (both in 2012). The Guide states that “this may be too late to start gathering data and limiting exposure to the rapidly increasing quantities of manufactured nanomaterials,” however.