By Katie Coyne, Plastics & Rubber Weekly
The Reach programme to register chemicals could push production of chemicals and plastic products outside of Europe where the regulations don't apply.
This is according to a paper presented by Dr Adrian Beard - from speciality chemicals firm Clariant and the European Flame Retardants Association (Efra) - at the Flame Retardants 2008 conference last week.
Beard argued that the non-EU producers would be able to get products to market in faster times and would have lower costs because they wouldn't have to comply with the Reach regulations.
However, he did point out that the EU and others were hopeful that the regulations might "become a quality mark" or even a "de facto standard" in other countries.
He also noted that other parts of the world - such as California in the US - are working on stringent chemical regulations of their own using Reach as a model.
Beard also pointed out that "under Reach new and partly unverified scientific principles will be introduced".
He argued that while this might reduce testing costs it could "lead to erroneous evaluation of chemicals and possibly discriminate against the chemicals which do not pose a risk to health or the environment."
Plastics & Rubber Weekly is a sister publication of Urethanes Technology International.