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Chemicals and REACH

The use of chemicals takes a heavy toll on European workers in all sectors - up to 30% of recognized occupational diseases and tens of thousands of preventable deaths each year are caused by exposure to hazardous substances. This is behind wide social inequalities in health, and is why the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) consistently pushed to get the REACH Regulation onto the books.

This set of rules prevents chemicals being sold unless information is supplied on the hazards and risks they pose to health and the environment, and is an opportunity to reduce chemical risks at the workplace. The information generated by REACH should also help make the EU directives that protect workers against chemical hazards (the Chemical Agents Directive and Carcinogens Directive) more effective. Aware that the reform will deliver results only if workers take ownership of it, the ETUI has produced a series of publications on chemicals and organizes meetings for the chemical hazards specialists of ETUC member organizations.

Further readings:

Visit the RISCTOX database of hazardous substances that provides information on over 100,000 chemical agents. It provides clear, organized and concise information about health and environmental risks caused by chemicals contained in products generally used or handled by companies.

RISCTOX database include data on classification of the substance according to Regulation 1272/2008 (CLP); Specific health risks; Specific environmental risks; Environmental and health-related regulations.
Search criteria include the name of the substance or some of its identification numbers (CAS, EC; EINECS / ELINCS, Index No). Different lists of risks or regulations available can also be used as search standards.