An excellent introductory article on REACH in Guardian Unlimited:

The lack of awareness in this case pertains to the Reach chemicals legislation (all 850 pages of it). Reach stands for the far less punchy “Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals”. These regulations are considerably more interesting than they sound, having been described as the most complex piece of legislation in the history of the European Union, and the most important in 20 years.

In brief, Reach requires (pdf) all chemicals of one tonne or more in volume that are manufactured in or imported into the European Union to be tested for health and safety. They must also be registered with a new, central European authority – namely, the European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki, Finland. It is, unsurprisingly, the strictest law to date regulating chemical substances.

Nexreg has more information on REACH at the following links:

To speak to a Nexreg representative about how REACH will impact your company, please call or e-mail Nexreg at:

Nexreg Toll Free: 1-866-361-3032
Nexreg Canada: (519)488-5126 (London, ON)
Nexreg UK: +44 020 7993 5893 (London, UK)
Nexreg USA: (206)418-6663 (Seattle, WA)