Chemicals policy in the melting pot

A more centralised system for regulating chemicals and abolition of the current legal divide between "new" and "existing" substances are among the more radical ideas being considered by the European Commission as it develops a new EC chemicals strategy. Ideas for reform have also emerged from a deregulatory review of chemicals policy and a Commission progress report on the implementation of existing EC legislation on new substances. At international level, meanwhile, the chemical industry is making slow progress with its new testing programme for high production volume chemicals - and uncertainty persists over how the results will feed in to the OECD's chemicals programme.

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