Socio-economic analyses in the new EU chemicals policy

lab technician pipette liquid into test tubes

REACH, the central EU chemicals ordinance, provides that certain hazardous substances can be banned or their uses restricted. However, testing procedures must be put in place in order to determine the impact of such measures on the economy and society.

The economic analyses have so far been solely restricted to the immediate effects on the respective industrial sector. On the other hand, reduced costs for the healthcare system, savings in environmental protection or also broader technical and economic innovation effects, for example, have yet to be considered. Hence the methodology for socio-economic analyses within the scope of REACH has been subject to criticism.

European experts therefore gathered at an EU workshop held on the 12th and 13th of March 2007 organised by adelphi to discuss methods and criteria for the future implementation of socio-economic analyses in connection with REACH. Various improvement options were identified as a means of solving the problems outlined.