On June 1, 2007, the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) directive, the European Union's environmental testing law, will go into effect. Are you ready?
REACH specifically applies to all chemical substances that are manufactured in or imported into the EU for ownership or further conversion into finished products. But it's not just manufacturers and distributors of chemicals that will have to respond. All downstream industries that use chemicals in their end products exported from the EU will be increasingly affected as further legislation follows in 2008, 2010, and 2013.
This year's legislation lays the foundation for working through a backlog of chemicals for which there is little data on health and environmental impacts. An estimated 65 percent of chemicals cataloged by the EU in 1981 don't meet the EU's minimum requirements. New chemicals and new uses/applications will be felt for many years to come, and REACH carries massive ramifications for chemicals and downstream industries, including risk to the business and supporting IT. Some pundits have already termed this as "the chemical industry's Y2K," and while there isn't the same midnight do-or-die scenario, we can't help but agree with parallels in terms of scale.
Source: AMR Research, http://amrresearch.com
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