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Home  > Publications  > Blog  > REACH - a mixture of feelings included

Saturday, 21 September 2019

REACH - a mixture of feelings included

Thursday, 16 December 2010 | Posted by: Sonja Specks, European Coatings Journal

REACH is one of the most used terms for the chemical industry - and could be nominated for the award of the negative buzzword of several years – it’s just a question of who you ask in the companies. I have quite controversial feelings about the REACH policy. On the one hand the question is not whether I want to be in touch with toxic or dangerous materials and I don't simply know the impact of special substances even in the smallest concentration in coatings and materials. On the other hand I don’t have a clue about some substances if they really harm me. So there is a feeling left that the reaction to set up such a huge regulation, including lots of manpower over years, seems to be exaggerated.

Furthermore because sometimes I think people without practical knowledge in chemistry invented this regulation. They don't have a problem with setting one molecule on the list of unwanted chemistries. The consequence is that the people that actually work with these products need to find an alternative for such a product. This has to be as good (means, from case to case stabilisation, viscosity, foaming, at least compatibility, etc.) as the former REACH-substance and has to show the same performance. In that case I think of the whole biocide debate or about the coming bann of leaded pigments. Often the listed materials are very well performing and they are not simply to copy. A full new research to substitute this substance needs to be done. So to me the whole REACH seems always to be under pressure to keep deadlines and to find alternatives in the same time. This takes the most research efforts and manpower. Innovations truly creatively upcoming from a scientific point of view, mixing substances just because of a good idea without any regulation force, is far in the background?????. There is no capacity doing so. But I also think that without this pressure of REACH maybe nothing would have changed. For sure not in that dimension. What is your opinion about REACH?

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Sonja Specks
European Coatings Journal
Sonja Specks
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