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|Formed||1 June 2007|
|Type||Regulatory Agency of the European Union|
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA; // EK-ə) is an agency of the European Union which manages the technical, scientific and administrative aspects of the implementation of the European Union regulation called Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). ECHA is the driving force among regulatory authorities in implementing the EU's chemicals legislation. ECHA helps companies to comply with the legislation, advances the safe use of chemicals, provides information on chemicals and addresses chemicals of concern. It is located in Helsinki, Finland.
The Agency, headed by Executive Director Geert Dancet, started working on 1 June 2007.
The REACH Regulation requires companies to provide information on the hazards, risks and safe use of chemical substances that they manufacture or import. Companies register this information with ECHA and it is then freely available on their website. So far, thousands of the most hazardous and the most commonly used substances have been registered. The information is technical but gives detail on the impact of each chemical on people and the environment. This also gives European consumers the right to ask retailers whether the goods they buy contain dangerous substances.
The Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (CLP) introduces a globally harmonised system for classifying and labelling chemicals into the EU. This worldwide system makes it easier for workers and consumers to know the effects of chemicals and how to use products safely because the labels on products are now the same throughout the world. Companies need to notify ECHA of the classification and labelling of their chemicals. So far, ECHA has received over 5 million notifications for more than 100 000 substances. The information is freely available on their website. Consumers can check chemicals in the products they use.
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