Environmental Health & Safety

REACH Conference Focus: Getting Through Tough Times

Source: ChemicalProcessing.com

Mar 23, 2009

iSmithers, a subsidiary of U.S.-based independent testing, research and consulting organization, The Smithers Group, has announced the program for the next in the series of technical conferences devoted to the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH).
The fifth iSmithers REACH conference will take place in Amsterdam June 24-25 to address the current status of the regulation and the developments from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Dr. Derek Knight, senior scientific advisor to the executive director at ECHA will open the conference.

Knight will present an extended keynote paper on the importance of risk assessment under REACH, setting the tone for the conference and giving delegates the opportunity to discuss their concerns and provide valuable feedback to the European Chemicals Agency. Also presented will be papers on consortia management and Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEFs) with case studies provided by Accenture, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Caleb Management Services giving practical advice on the management of consortia in an economic downturn.

The pooling of existing test data within the SIEFs has raised questions over the rules on cost-sharing, the implications of “no data, no market” and the appropriate use of Only Representatives – all of which will be discussed in depth at the conference.

“While pre-registration was branded ‘free and simple,’ everyone is bracing themselves for the challenge of meeting the first registration deadline in 2010. Many practical aspects must still be resolved in order to ensure the completion of dossiers containing confidential information on product chemistry, quantity and use,” said Dr. Steffen Erler, director of REACH Services at Smithers Rapra.

The area of testing under REACH will address the challenges of getting through the ‘CRO bottleneck.’ It is anticipated that there will not be sufficient expert laboratory space to conduct all the necessary testing within the tight timelines, unless companies plan well in advance by working together with Contract Research Organizations. Hazard and exposure aspects of safety assessments will be examined with specific examples on nanoparticles and Bisphenol A (BPA). 

Day two of the conference continues with an examination of REACH in the context of wider industry legislation with reference to GHS, US TSCA and other sector specific directives such as those covering cosmetics, food and medicines.  The International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) will present the next step of the SIN (substitute it now) list, an NGO driven project to fast track potential Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) for substitution and to facilitate the transition to toxic free products and processes. The conference concludes with a discussion of communication in the chemical supply chain with papers given by Colgate-Palmolive, Ciba Expert Services and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).

Details about the conference are available at www.polymerconferences.com.