In July 2010 the European Trade Unions Confederation released an update of its priority list of chemicals to be controlled under REACH for better occupational health and safety. The list ranks chemicals according to their harmful properties and their known links with recognised occupational diseases. A total of 334 chemicals or groups of chemicals are on the updated list, 29 more than the first version published in March 2009.
ETUC states that if all these chemicals were included on the REACH list of most harmful chemicals, the incidence of chemical-related diseases stemming from occupational exposure, and the related costs for society, including the employers, would be reduced. Having these chemicals on the REACH list gives a strong incentive to companies, given their impending regulation, to innovate and replace these chemicals with safer alternatives.
The Trade Union list shows strong overlaps with other lists of harmful chemicals drawn up by EU Member States and environment and health public interest groups to help inform the REACH process. The Trade Union list has 131 substances in common with a list developed by an informal group of six EU countries which features chemicals that should be considered for nomination to the REACH ‘most harmful’ list. And the Trade Union list has 130 chemicals in common with the SIN (Substitute It Now) List published by ChemSec. Of the current 38 substances already officially adopted to the REACH ‘most harmful’ or candidate list, 31 are on the Trade Union priority list.
For more information on the Trade Union list, see here: Download the Trade Union Priority List for REACH Authorisation here
Written on 2010.