THE European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has launched an online guide of chemical hazard profiles written in “plain English.”
The guide offers chemical safety information in three levels of detail in the form of an information card, designed for laypeople, up to full source data for toxicologists. The three-level approach will improve traceability of chemical data to make information more accessible without compromising the quantity, or quality of the data provided.
Each information document is based on information from the EU regulation concerning the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH), which compels chemical manufacturers to register data relating to the risks to human health and the environment of the chemicals they produce.
The new presentation of the information will help the public source information on 120,000 chemicals found in everyday situations from cosmetics to cookware, and the database offers a total of 2m study summaries on properties and effects of chemicals.
The ECHA say the information cards give a summary of the key information on a chemical substance plainly, and users can look up information about commonly used chemicals they are exposed to, and whether they may need to take precautions.
Geert Dancet, executive director of ECHA said, “ECHA is moving from collecting information to making much better use of it for the general public as well as for regulators throughout the world. This launch is an important step towards safer chemicals by 2020.”
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