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REACH and Beyond—Effective Policy Instruments to Regulate Hazardous Chemicals

Recent decades have seen a rapid increase in the volumes and range of chemicalsproduced and put on the market, some of which pose substantial risks to humans and the environment. A major challenge in the regulation of chemicals is that not all substances or substance uses pose the same risk—some are benign, some are disruptive and some have long-term effects that are difficult to fully characterize because of confounders.Today, chemicals regulation relies mainly on direct controls such as bans, permits and standards because these tools are thought to provide certainty in regulatory outcomes. However, alternative policy formulations such as information disclosure and taxation schemes might provide more flexibility and increase the incentives for chemical substitution.In this session we willlook at the effectiveness of the European chemicals regulation REACH and the U.S. chemicals regulation (TSCA)and discuss possible policy options for improvements. The session coincides with the publication of a stream of reports taking stock of the first 10 years of implementation of REACH.

Organizer(s): Daniel Slunge, The Centre for Future Chemical Risk Assessment and Management, University of Gothenburg, (
Chair: Daniel Slunge

Panelists: Karolina Skog, Environment minister, Sweden, “Towards a more ambitious and effective chemicals policy
Bjorn Hansen, Director, European Chemicals Agency, “The effectiveness of European Chemicals Policy – lessons learned from 10 years of REACH”
Matti Vainio, European Chemicals Agency, “REACH Authorisation – effectiveness and socioeconomic impacts”
Al McGartland, US EPA, “Informing decision making under REACH and TSCA: Challenges for Risk Assessors and Economists
Jessica Coria, Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, “The Economics of Toxic Substance Control – Implications for REACH and Beyond”