Sommestad: REACH Falls Short

Swedish Environment Minister Lena Sommestad says the European Union’s new rules regulating the use of chemicals do not go far enough to safeguard health or the environment.

The EU plan is for the registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals, or REACH. The agreement, reached by ministers in Brussels Tuesday, has been opposed by lobby groups for the chemical industry for going too far. Sweden’s Environment Minister says she is unhappy the agreement only covers less than one-fifth of the 20,000 chemicals produced in Europe in volumes of less than 10 tons.

Sommestad also expressed concern Sweden will be forced to scale back its existing tougher standards.