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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2009 Feb;53(1):70-80. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2008.11.003. Epub 2008 Nov 25.

REACH, non-testing approaches and the urgent need for a change in mind set.

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TNO Quality of Life, Department of Food & Chemical Risk Analysis, P.O. Box 360, 3700 AJ Zeist, The Netherlands.


The objectives of REACH cannot be achieved under the current risk assessment approach. A change in mind set among all the relevant stakeholders is needed: risk assessment should move away from a labor-intensive and animal-consuming approach to intelligent and pragmatic testing, by combining exposure and hazard data effectively and trying to group chemicals (category approaches). The focus should be on reducing the overall uncertainties of 30,000 chemicals while acknowledging the existence of the uncertainty paradox: reducing uncertainty in the assessment of individual chemicals following the classical chemical-by-chemical approach as we have in previous decades will result in a prolongation of uncertainty for the entire group of 30,000 chemicals as a whole. With the first REACH registration deadline (2010) rapidly approaching, a mind set change is urgently needed. We can speed up the regulatory acceptance process, starting with the maximum use of currently available exposure and hazard data, tools and models. Optimal use should also be made of experimental exposure and hazard data generated under REACH. Only such an approach will make it possible to obtain a sufficient level of information within the time frame of REACH. A much more intensive dialogue between stakeholders is necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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