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Sustainable chemicals: New rules to identify endocrine disruptors and long-lasting chemicals enter into force

The Delegated Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals (CLP Regulation) has entered into force. The Delegated Regulation introduces new hazard classes for endocrine disruptors, as well as for chemicals that do not break down in the environment and can accumulate in living organisms, or risk entering and spreading across the water cycle, including drinking water. The European Commission (EC) adopted this Delegated Act on 19 December 2022, which then passed through the European Parliament and Council and was published in the Official Journal on 31 March 2023.

The new hazard classes are the result of extensive scientific discussions and will provide easier access to information to all users of such chemicals, notably consumers, workers and businesses. They allow further action to address and mitigate the risks of substances and mixtures under other EU legislation such as REACH, while taking account of socioeconomic impacts.

The objective of the CLP Regulation is to ensure a high level of protection of health and the environment, as well as the free movement of substances, mixtures and articles. It requires manufacturers, importers or downstream users of substances or mixtures to classify, label and package their hazardous chemicals appropriately before placing them on the market. The CLP Regulation establishes legally binding hazard identification and classification rules. It sets out common rules on labelling for consumers and workers to enable them to make informed decisions when purchasing or using dangerous products.

The EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability called for consolidation and simplification of the EU regulatory system with regard to endocrine disruptors, including new hazard classes and criteria for identifying endocrine disruptors in the CLP Regulation to also enable appropriate regulation of these substances, including in consumer products.

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