REACHing for solutions: Essential revisions to the EU chemicals regulation to modernise safety assessment

2022-10-21

The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation was created to protect human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of harmful intrinsic properties of chemical substances on the European market. One of its central aims was the promotion of alternatives to animal testing, yet it has instead become a long ‘tick-box’ list of in vivo experiments questionable relevance to human health outcomes despite a global trend towards new approach methods (NAMs) in chemical safety assessment. The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS), proposed by the European Commission in 2020, is a golden opportunity to revise REACH in a significant and impactful way, yet proposals presented so far have significant negative animal welfare consequences. There is still time to correct the course of the ongoing REACH revision – proposals made herein offer a path towards the promising future intended by the CSS. These proposals are anchored in three vectors of action, varying in level of complexity -from changes that ECHA can implement to improve existing processes, through technical changes aimed at minimizing animal testing and increasing NAM acceptance, to deeper structural changes to establish non-animal testing strategies as the basis for risk assessment.

Authors: Marina Pereira, Donna S Macmillan, Catherine Willett, Troy Seidle
; Full Source: Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology : RTP 2022 Oct 21;105278. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2022.105278.