EU Begins To Remove Thousands Of Toxic Chemicals From Consumer Products

The European Union has passed one of the most far-reaching consumer and environmental protection regulations ever. EU's REACH ( Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) law, based upon the "Precautionary Principle," will force chemical companies and consumer product manufacturers to prove that all of the synthetic ingredients in their products are safe, or else replace those chemicals with safe alternatives. The rules will take effect in mid-2007, at which time companies will be required to lay out plans to gradually replace the most high-risk chemicals. Some 13,000 substances, deemed of high concern, face automatic testing and possible removal from the market. A number of U.S. cities and counties, including San Francisco, have recently passed laws based upon the precautionary principle.

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