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July 1st, 2008
Trade Unions call for REACH amendment to cover nanomaterials
European labour unions have called on the European Commission to amend the REACH regulation on chemicals to better protect workers against nanomaterials throughout their lifecycle. Their call comes shortly after the EU executive argued that nanotech is already covered by existing EU regulation.
"Workers all along the production chain from laboratories through to manufacturing, transport, shop shelves, cleaning, maintenance and waste management" are exposed to nanomaterials manufactured and placed on the market without true knowledge of their potential impacts on human health and the environment, states a resolutionPdf external adopted by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) on 25 June.
The confederation calls on the Commission to amend the bloc's chemicals legislation (REACH) to cover nanomaterials manufactured or imported below the threshold of one tonne per year. According to ETUC, nanomaterials could escape the current chemicals registration procedure as they would probably weigh less.
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