14 June 2024

Chemicals - More research needed for regulation, reports ECHA

More scientific research and development of methodologies are needed to improve the regulation of hazardous chemicals in the EU, according to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Report by ILM.

The ECHA has updated its report on key areas of regulatory challenge, with detail on areas where more research is needed. These are aligned with the areas identified in the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS).

Reportedly, more research is needed for:

Protection against most harmful chemicals: Neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity and endocrine disruption.

Addressing chemical pollution in the environment: Bioaccumulation, assessing non-bee (NBP) pollinators’ sensitivity to biocides, expanding protection of biodiversity using New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) and new approaches to monitor chemicals present in the environment.

Shifting away from animal testing: Read-across and NAMs, in vitro/in silico absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) and Physiologically-Based Kinetic (TK) models, short and long-term fish toxicity and carcinogenicity.

Improved availability on chemical data: Polymers, micro and nano-sized materials and new analytical methods for enforcement.

ECHA Executive Director Dr Sharon McGuinness said: “We have updated this report to provide more detailed information on regulatory topics that need more research, for example to address bioaccumulation and further develop toxicokinetic models. Our hope is that the research community will respond positively to our call.

“This update is in line with ECHA’s Strategy Statement 2024-2028 that aims to expand knowledge on chemical safety and to promote alternative methods for the assessment of hazards and risks of chemicals.”

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