23 January 2013 — California is leading the way on chemical policy reform, toxics reductions strategies with ground-breaking regulations that will require manufacturers to seek safer alternatives to potentially harmful chemicals in consumer products.

The externalised costs to society of chemical use are large and growing. In 2001 the overall estimated costs of exposure to toxic substances was estimated between US$568 billion to US$793 billion per year for Canada and the United States combined, consultant Ann Blake reports in greenbiz.com.

“These regulations come after four years of animated discussion and unprecedented input, extending to thousands of comments submitted by a broad range of stakeholders,” Blake writes.

“As the regulations come closer to fruition, however, the standard arguments are surfacing about their potential impact on the state’s economy, including comparisons to the economic impacts of the European Union’s REACH chemical regulation, which came into effect in June 2007.

“It is therefore probably worth noting that no less an entity than German chemical giant BASF stated in September of this year that REACH was ‘worth the money’.

“In the same report, CEFIC, the European Chemical Industry Council, stated that while it is too early to see any impact on innovation, it expects that REACH “will indeed benefit human health and the environment.”

Read the full article here.

And read our story Chemical companies, PVC/vinyl, fighting disclosure of toxic materials in LEEDS.