Reflecting on REACH: Global Implications of the European Union's chemicals regulation

Diana Bowman, Geert Van Calster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The implementation of the European Union's comprehensive new regime for chemicals, as governed by the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals ("REACH") Regulation, signals a fundamental shift in the way in which manufactured and imported chemical substances will be regulated within the E.U. While REACH does not expressly refer to nanoscale substances, the wide scope of the regime will ensure that nanoscale substances are captured under its provisions. This article presents a brief overview of the new E. U. chemicals regime. It then evaluates the regulatory stance adopted by the E. U. within the context of nanotechnology, including a shift in burden of proof regarding safety to industry, the express inclusion of the precautionary principle within Article 1, and the use of mass as a trigger for registration and testing procedures. The authors conclude with a discussion on the broader and longer term impact of REACH on manufacturers and importers of nanoscale substances and products containing nanoparticles, with particular reference to the implications of REACH beyond the E.U.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-383
Number of pages9
JournalNanotechnology Law and Business
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Law


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