REACH analysis shows benefits outweigh costs

25 September, Helsinki - An analysis by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has found that the benefits of authorising hazardous chemicals under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation outweigh costs by 15 to one.

The report, ‘Socio-economic impacts of REACH authorisations’, calculates that €281 million of health risks arise each year from the continued use of chemicals that require authorisation, but that costs would be around €4.2 billion if the REACH system were not in place.

ECHA’s report was intended to look into the costs of the continued use of 20 substances of very high concern (SVHCs), finding that although risks remain high, authorisation has considerably reduced harm to the environment and individuals. The authorisation requirements for SVHCs have led to many companies substituting them with safer alternatives.