In a world where we are surrounded by built environments and manufactured goods, it has become more and more important for consumers and legislators to understand the chemicals that surround us. There are many environmental regulations in place, but a small handful have permeated international industries as the foundation of product compliance. Two of the most well-known and notable regulations are EU REACH and California Proposition 65. While they have different requirements and overseeing bodies, they have a common goal of preventing exposure to toxic chemicals.
EU REACH is a European directive that stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals and is overseen by the European Commission. This regulation was established in 2007 and was created to replace previous legislation for toxic chemicals within the EU. The goal of EU REACH is to ensure a high level of protection for human health and the environment while also promoting alternative test methods and the free circulation of substances to further boost innovation.
This standard is one of the first of its kind to shift the responsibility of risk management from public authorities directly to the industries themselves. The industries and manufacturers are now required to assess and manage the exposure risks presented by toxic chemicals while also providing appropriate safety information to consumers. This new approach to chemical management fosters a new understanding of what communication means throughout the supply chain and encourages the development of tools to guide companies and public authorities through its implementation.
California Proposition 65
California Proposition 65 is a law that was passed by Californian voters in 1986 and is overseen by California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). The goal of this regulation was to protect drinking water sources from toxic chemicals that cause cancer and birth defects while also reducing and eliminating exposure to consumers through the implementation of warning labels for products that contain these harmful substances. This initiative has grown to be one of the most robust and influential standards in product compliance.
The list of restricted substances is maintained and published publicly to provide full transparency. California Proposition 65 was also one of the first regulations put into place that held manufacturers responsible for their impact on the environment and consumers. Since its implementation, thousands of products have been reformulated or created without toxic chemicals. Overall product toxicity and industry emissions have improved under California Proposition 65, with impacts reaching internationally.
While EU REACH and California Proposition 65 have differences in the chemicals they screen on their lists, Toxnot can help you screen against both, document your product's compliance, and generate compliance reports. At the end of the day, the combined efforts of these two regulations are helping to make our world a cleaner and safer space.