From: Forbes

Arguments against chemical regulation have been top of mind recently, with Congress holding its first hearings on the Safe Cosmetics Act; the FDA deciding against regulation of bisphenol-A in food packaging; and industry groups, NGOs and politicians continue to bicker over what, if anything will be done to update the United States’ 36-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

With the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) in effect—and adding more chemicals to its Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) list each year—and Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) expanding its scope (medical devices will be included as of 2013), any company that sells into the EU, or has a supply chain that touches any EU country, now has to avoid chemicals deemed toxic by either, and in many cases both, regulations.

Initially, the push to acquire mountains of new data from suppliers is an onerous task, but some companies and consultants are finding that once they get past the money, time and effort needed to build out more robust tracking systems, knowing a lot more about how their products are made and what exactly is in them can lead not only to product innovation but even to company-wide cost savings.

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