REACH Congress 2016: Chemicals in everyday products - How can consumer protection be improved?

The European chemicals regulation REACH, which was established to protect human health and the environment, is currently being subjected to a comprehensive review process. The REACH Congress 2016 is being held in Berlin on 5 and 6 October. It takes a critical look at the consumer protection provided by REACH and discusses possible changes.

The REACH regulation is reviewed every five years. The discussion includes further improvements in the registration of substances and a simpler and more effective right to information for consumers.

The right to information is the core of the REACH regulation. It allows consumers to demand information on whether a product contains particularly hazardous substances. Chemicals are subject to the right to information if they are contained to more than 0.1 percent in a product. Inquiries are currently possible on 169 substances, which are included in the so-called REACH Candidate List due to their worrying properties.

The European Chemicals Agency ECHA regularly publishes information on the damaging properties of registered substances. An adaptation of REACH to cover the concerns raised by nanomaterials is currently under discussion. The REACH Congress 2016 focuses on the question of what REACH has done specifically for consumer protection. It will also be discussed whether consumers’ right to information in line with Art. 33 is being used, where improvements should be made and what challenges the approval process for chemicals faces. The effects of substance restrictions and findings from allergy monitoring will also be examined.

To discuss the latest developments in the field of consumer protection and REACH, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) and German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) are inviting interested professionals from the fields of trade and industry, science and administration to the third REACH Congress in Berlin on 5 and 6 October. Over 230 participants have already confirmed.

Media representatives can register for the congress at or

More information and the congress programme:
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About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent  institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.


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