Bayer Passes First REACH Milestone
Registration of Large-Volume Chemicals Completed on Time
Leverkusen, – Bayer has successfully completed the registration of 125 large-volume chemicals under the European Union’s REACH Regulation by the specified deadline of December 1, 2010. According to European law, this is an essential requirement for the continued production and marketing of these products. More than 50 highly qualified experts devoted three years of their time exclusively to this task.
“We have shown great commitment in meeting the requirements of the REACH Regulation. We consider it important to again document the high safety standards maintained in our chemical production facilities by this means too,” said Dr. Wolfgang Grosse Entrup, Head of Environment & Sustainability in Bayer’s Corporate Center.
REACH (Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) came into force on June 1, 2007 and has completely overhauled European chemicals policy. Its goal is to improve protection of people and the environment through the compilation of more comprehensive data. All substances that are produced in volumes of 1,000 metric tons or more per annum and that were already manufactured prior to the enactment of REACH have to be registered by December 1, 2010. For this purpose, project groups in the Bayer subgroups compiled detailed and specially dedicated dossiers for each substance subject to registration. This information then had to be submitted to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki, an organization especially set up to deal with REACH. Many of Bayer’s 125 registration dossiers are more than 100 pages long.
“The subgroups began early with this complex task, establishing a well functioning organization and cooperating highly effectively,” said Dr. Andrea Paetz, Groupwide REACH Coordinator, explaining the basis for this successful achievement. One of the major challenges was to coordinate with competitors within consortia. “To avoid more animal studies being carried out, the legislator stipulated the exchange of existing studies on substances used by several companies,” continued Paetz. Parts of the dossiers are put on the Internet and are thus publicly accessible.
The next important deadline is June 1, 2013, by which time all substances produced or imported in volumes of between 100 and 1,000 metric tons per annum have to be registered. This concerns many chemicals that are important to the subgroups Bayer CropScience and Bayer HealthCare. The final registration deadline for substances that were already being produced when REACH was enacted is June 1, 2018. This is the date by which smaller-volume substances (1 to 100 metric tons per annum) have to be registered. REACH will thus continue to pose a major challenge to Bayer – not least because plans are afoot to fundamentally revise the REACH Regulation in 2012. “This is something we will have to devote a lot of attention to,” concluded Paetz.
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