The world chemical production in 1998 was estimated at 1,244 billion, with 31% for the EU chemical industry, which generated a trade surplus of 41 billion. In 1998, it was the world's largest chemical industry, followed by that of the US with 28% of production value and a trade surplus of 12 billion." (White Paper 2001) This statement underlines the magnitude of the European Chemical Industry.
The EU chemical industry is one of the EU's most international, competitive and successful industries embracing a wide field of processing and manufacturing activities. The output of the chemical industry covers a wide range of chemical products and supplies virtually to all sectors of the economy. The EU chemical industry thus creates wealth and generates added value to society. In invests in the future and cares for the people and the environment. On the other hand, there are instances where chemicals were proved harmful to the society, causing endless sufferings and premature deaths and also extensive damages to the environment. Asbestos is one example which can cause lung cancer. Understandably, the public may not really be appreciative of the harm that the different chemicals can do to their lives and well being. Hence it becomes the onus of the government to regulate the manufacture and usage of the chemicals so that there can be an effective control on the harmful chemicals. With this background, this paper attempts to bring out the efforts of the EU on the regulation of manufacture and usage of chemicals, their evaluation and authorization for use. This paper derives the inputs from the legislative proposal of the EU commission REACH- Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals.
2.0 REASONS FOR REGULATING CHEMICALS:
Protection of human health and the environment is the primary concern of the government. It must be ensured that not only the present generation of the people but also the future generation is living without fear of the chemicals endangering their health.
Similarly the efficient functioning of the internal market and the competitiveness of the chemical industry is another responsibility of the government. The governmental policy should regulate the manufacture of the chemicals and at the same time, provide for the incentives for technical innovation and development of those chemicals which are considered safe. In order the chemical industry becomes sustainable, a balanced growth providing for the consideration of ecological, economic and social aspects in the manufacture of chemicals is very much necessary. The EU Commission with the twin objectives of protecting the human health and regulating the development of the chemical industry has embarked upon the system of registration, evaluation and authorization of the different chemicals.
3.0 CHMICALS POLICY OF THE EU:
In order to bring more effectiveness on the control of the chemicals the EU commission reviewed the existing legislative directives which were governing the industrial chemicals, metals, minerals and substances produced from natural products to analyse the applicability of such provisions in the present day environment. Apart from improving on existing measures, the EU also proposed to bring out additional legislative measures controlling the manufacture and use of plant protection products, cosmetics and the transport of dangerous goods among other things. "The existing