Protecting health and the environment: The REACH regulation and its impact on the agrochemical industry.

bee, insect, fertilize

In the chemical and agriculture industry, safety and protection to human health and the environment are extremely important aspects. One of the key regulations in the European Union that ensures these aspects is the REACH regulation (EC 1907/2006). In this blog post we will explain what REACH is, how it works and why it is relevant for all companies and consumers.

REACH, which stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, is a European regulation that came into force in 2007 and regulates the use of chemicals in Europe. Its main objective is to protect human health and the environment, ensuring that the chemicals used are safe and do not present a risk to society and nature.

REACH therefore establishes a series of requirements for companies that manufacture, import, or use chemicals in significant quantities. These companies must register and evaluate the chemicals they produce or import in a central database called the REACH Registry. In addition, REACH promotes information exchange and collaboration between companies and authorities, promoting transparency and evidence-based decision making.

To achieve this objective, the REACH regulation provides for the following processes:

  • Registration: Companies that manufacture or import a substance, must register it to continue to manufacture, market and use the substance. To register any substance, companies must collect information on the properties and uses and establish their classification and labeling. This information is submitted to ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) together with a registration dossier, which will include a chemical safety report.

  • Evaluation: Evaluation is carried out by ECHA and the Member States. Its goal is to:
  1. Examine the testing proposals submitted by registrants.
  2. Perform a compliance check of the registration dossiers submitted by the registrants.
  3. Evaluate substances to verify whether they constitute a risk to human health or the environment.

  • Authorization: The authorization procedure is intended to ensure a proper control of the risks arising from substances of very high concern and the progressive substitution of these substances by suitable alternatives. Substances that can be identified as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), are those substances that exhibit the following properties:
  1. Substances that meet the criteria to be classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction, category 1A or 1B, in accordance with Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 (CMR substances).
  2. Substances that are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT), or very persistent and bioaccumulative (vPvB), according to Annex XIII of the REACH Regulation.
  3. Substances of equivalent concern to CMR or PBT/vPvB substances, based on scientific evidence.

  • Restriction: Restrictions are intended to protect human health and the environment from unacceptable risks from chemicals. Restrictions may limit or prohibit the manufacture, marketing or use of a substance and it can be applied to any substance, whether in a mixture or in an item.

REACH compliance brings significant benefits to companies in the chemical and agricultural industries. The registration and evaluation of chemicals enables the identification of risks and improved safety management. As a result, REACH promotes innovation and the development of safer and more sustainable alternatives, which can provide competitive advantages.

REACH affects the agricultural industry in the manufacture of fertilizers and biostimulants in the following areas:

  • Manufacturers of fertilizers and biostimulants must register and evaluate the chemical substances they use in their products. This involves providing detailed information on the properties and effects of the substances, as well as their safe use.
  • REACH establishes restrictions on the use of certain hazardous chemicals, such as carcinogens or endocrine disruptors, in the manufacture of fertilizers and biostimulants. This helps ensure that the chemicals used are safe for both workers and end users.
  • REACH aims to promote innovation and the development of safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals. This involves promoting more sustainable practices in the manufacture of fertilizers and biostimulants, encouraging the substitution of hazardous substances with safer ones.

REACH therefore plays a key role in protecting human health and the environment in the chemical and agricultural industry. By ensuring that the chemicals used are safe and properly evaluated, REACH improves safety for both companies and consumers. As a responsible company, we know that it is essential to promote responsible practices, contributing to a safer and more sustainable environment.

February 2023

Sun Chemicals Services Team

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