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Lowellߞ;Following on the heels of the European Union RoHS directive that restricts the use of six hazardous chemicals in electrical and electronic products, REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals) sets new data collection and risk management requirements for over 30,000 chemicals in commerce. This overhaul of the European Union chemicals management system which is likely to be adopted by Spring 2007, is in its final stages of passage, and could prevent U.S. products from entering the 25-member EU states if requirements are not met.
To help prepare companies to comply and go beyond the requirements of REACH towards safer chemicals and products, the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at UMass Lowell will host three workshops -- September 12, 2006 in Detroit, Michigan; September 13, 2006 in Foster City, California; and September 15, 2006 in Seattle, Washington.
Andrew Fasey, one of the authors of REACH, will share the most up-to-date information on REACH and steps companies can take to prepare. Robert Donkers, European Union Environmental Advisor in Washington, DC will provide information on the European Commission’s decision making processes. Experts on long-term chemicals policy, Drs. Ken Geiser and Joel A. Tickner of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at UMass Lowell will present practical tools and concepts such as Toxics Use Reduction, Green Chemistry, and Design for the Environment.
The new REACH system will require companies to collect data on most chemicals on the market, assess the risk, define how chemicals should be safely used throughout the supply chain, and justify continued use of chemicals of very high concern. Companies that do not comply, risk losing market share. In 2005 the U.S. export market to the European Union was $186 billion.
“Many companies in the U.S. that compete globally are unaware of how REACH will effect them and that’s not good given the potential economic loss. A proactive, strategic view of sustainable chemicals management will help companies go beyond not only REACH but a slew of upcoming rules from other countries,” said Joel A. Tickner of UMass Lowell.
For more information about state, federal and international chemicals policies or to register for the REACH workshops, visit www.chemicalspolicy.org.
The Lowell Center for Sustainable Production develops, studies, and promotes environmentally sound systems of production, healthy work environments, and economically viable work organizations. The Chemicals Policy Initiative of the Lowell Center works with a variety of stakeholders to promote more sustainable chemicals policies and tools, and approaches to achieving them. www.sustainableproduction.org and www.chemicalspolicy.org.
UMass Lowell, a comprehensive university with a national reputation in science, engineering and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success in a diverse world and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 students more than 120 degree choices, internships, five-year combined bachelor’s to master’s programs and doctoral studies in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, the School of Health and Environment, and the Graduate School of Education. www.uml.edu.