There is a danger the UK will end up with a hollow system, said Dr. Michael Warhurst (CHEM Trust) in his evidence to the Environment Bill Committee. Alongside Nishma Patel from the Chemical Industries Association and Bud Hudspith from the trade union – UNITE, Dr Warhurst expressed his concerns about the UK having to start building a chemicals’ safety database from scratch. Bud Hudspith and Nishma Patel felt it would take the UK years to catch up with ECHA. The lack of resources for and personnel of the Health and Safety Executive (ECHA’s equivalent in the UK) is an important issue. Restarting the process of registration and providing data behind the chemicals will put the UK behind the EU REACH. The amount of work to be done is considerable, especially because the chemicals market is constantly on the move, with industries usually going for a substance alternative once one substance is banned. There is also concern that the enforcement in the UK must be improved to cope with an even bigger task ahead.
Evidence in the Environment Bill committee
Chemical Watch article