REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is the European legislation for control of chemicals. It specifies which chemicals must be registered and how; how to evaluate chemical substances and how to restrict access to chemicals that are regarded as especially dangerous for human health or the environment.
REACH looks to manufacturers /users to provide data on chemicals to assess exposure and environmental hazard.
This legisation seeks to restrict or remove the most hazardous substances – substances of very high concern (SVHC). SVHC listed materials, especially those that have been authorised under REACH should be avoided. For the pharmaceutical industry, this currently impacts some solvents and inorganic reagents.
Since REACH came into force in 2007, a new EU Chemicals Strategy has been launched. It aims to protect citizens and the environment by promoting the use of safe and sustainable chemicals. But, due to the release of the new Chemicals Strategy in 2020, REACH is undergoing a revision to further push the EU towards a totally toxic-free environment.