Progress for EC chemicals policy

An important step in the EC's chemicals policy was taken on 23 March when Environment Ministers adopted a Regulation which will pave the way to a Community programme for evaluating and controlling the risks posed by thousands of older chemicals. Meanwhile, the European Commission has published a long-awaited Directive which updates the test methods to be used for new chemicals, and has also circulated an initial proposal for a common Community approach to risk assessment of new chemicals.

The Regulation adopted in March deals with "existing" substances - those on the EC market before September 1981, when the "Sixth Amendment" Directive introduced a testing and notification scheme for "new" substances. This was replaced last year by the Seventh Amendment Directive, which Member States are to bring into force by 31 October this year (ENDS Report 209, pp 36-37 

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