Helsinki - The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced 21 Dec that they are about to start working together on chemicals safety.
In line with their shared commitment to improve chemical safety, ECHA and the US EPA have signed a statement of intent to co-operate.
The aim is to strengthen the scientific dialogue between the EU and the US and to increase cooperation on technical matters and other issues of common interest. This includes the hazards and emerging risks of chemical substances, risk management tools, scientific collaboration and information exchange.
One of the anticipated areas of collaboration will be on exchange of data and information. For example, the two groups will promote exchange of public information on hazards, uses, and substance identification between ECHA and the EPA.
Experience on the manner in which confidentiality claims are verified by the agencies will also be shared. This aims to maximise the information on chemicals available to the public, both in the EU and the US, while giving due protection to industry's confidential information. The agencies will also be sharing information on approaches to more efficiently address chemicals of concern.
In practice, the cooperation will take place between ECHA and the EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics and National Centre for Computational Toxicology.
Geert Dancet, executive director of ECHA, said during the signing: "this statement ofintent will lead the way to a closer cooperation between both regulatory authorities to the benefit of companies and citizens on both sides of the North-Atlantic Ocean."