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Environmental Policy Forum – Paths towards the Use of Safer Chemicals

The Institute for European Studies (IES) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) announce their next Environmental Policy Forum in Brussels on October 28, 2010. The aim of this forum is to compare approaches in the EU and the US to fostering the substitution of hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives.

Chemicals are a major part of everyday life. They are used in most production processes and consumer products. Workers and consumer are exposed to chemicals every day at their workplace, at home and almost everywhere else. Although these chemicals have sometimes been in commercial use for decades, there is not sufficient data to assess comprehensively the hazards and risks of many of them.

Additionally, innovation for safer alternatives has been slow and many chemicals with hazardous properties and risks have not been substituted with safer alternatives. To address these gaps, the European Union introduced a Regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) in 2006 and California initiated the Green Chemistry Initiative and specifically, an Act on Safer Alternatives for Consumer Products in 2008.

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