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European Chemicals Policy

The European Union's proposed new chemicals policy, REACH: Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals, will make manufacturers and importers responsible for registering and testing any chemicals that they sell in Europe. REACH has been the subject of extensive controversy – including a focus on its potential costs.

Several studies conducted by Frank Ackerman, Rachel Massey, Liz Stanton, and others at GDAE provide a bottom-up recalculation of the expected costs of REACH, and examine its effects on developing countries, on U.S. exporters, and on French industry. GDAE researchers have also produced a guide to assist smaller companies in understanding the implications of REACH, and written several op-eds and working papers discussing the impacts of REACH. The GDAE analyses find that the costs of REACH are affordable and unlikely to harm European or other industry, while other researchers have suggested that the health and environmental benefits of REACH will be substantial.

Research on REACH:

"Implications of REACH for the Developing Countries," by Frank Ackerman (principal author), Liz Stanton, Rachel Massey, Brian Roach, and others; report from the International Chemical Secretariat (Chemsec) to the European Parliament. March, 2006. Also available in French: "Les Implications De Reach Pour Les Pays En Développement"

“European Chemical Policy and the United States: The Impacts of REACH,” by Frank Ackerman, Liz Stanton, and Rachel Massey; GDAE Working Paper 06-06. September, 2006. A later version of this paper was published, without the technical appendices, in Renewable Resources Journal, 2007; see the appendices to the Renewable Resources Journal article here.

"Surviving REACH: A Guide for Companies that Use Chemicals", by Rachel Massey, report for The International Chemical Secretariat (Chemsec). March 2005. Also available in German [link to German version].

"The Ripple Effect", by Frank Ackerman, an op-ed article about REACH published in Parliament Magazine, a magazine from Brussels (in English), April 2005.

"The True Costs of REACH", by Frank Ackerman and Rachel Massey, report for the Nordic Council of Ministers. December 2004.

Other related research:

"The Unbearable Lightness of Regulatory Costs," by Frank Ackerman, working paper, addressing (among other regulatory cost issues) the potential economic impact of REACH. February, 2006. A subsequent version was published in Fordham Urban Law Journal, May 2006.

"French Industry and Sustainable Chemistry: The Benefits of Clean Development," by Frank Ackerman and Rachel Massey, report for GreenPeace France. October 2005. Also available in French: "Industrie Française Et Chimie Durable : Les Bénéfices Du Développement Propre"

"Building a Healthy Economy: Chemicals Risk Management as a Driver of Development," by Rachel Massey, report for the Swedish Chemicals Inspectorate. September 2005.

Read more about GDAE's program on Economics for Health and the Environment

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