Tuesday, February 5, 2013

5-Year survey: has REACH helped?

The REACH 5-Year Review has been published. An extensive survey was conducted as part of the research. The survey found that Europeans not only believe the safety of chemical products has improved, but 65 % of respondents also believe that products containing chemicals have been tested properly in the EU.

Of respondents, views are divided on who has responsibility for chemical substance safety –
What people think of REACH
  1. 48% think ensuring safety is the role of European authorities
  2. 42 % believe that manufactures are responsible
  3. only 35 % is convinced that safety is a matter for national level authorities
Aggregate results from the 27 Member states show that a 3/5 majority think the safety of chemical products should be the manufactures' responsibility.

The results of the Eurobarometer survey offer up these insights:
  1. The majority of people think that there are chemicals in articles of daily use. 96% of respondents believe that cleaning products and paint contain chemical substances, 90% think that chemicals are also in cosmetics or beauty products. However, only 56% express certainty on this issue.
  2. Food is the product that people are most likely to check, with a large majority at 81% saying that they look at the ingredients before buying. On the contrary, only 23% would check electronics.
  3. 69% of Europeans disagree that it is possible to completely eliminate chemical substances from daily life.
  4. Over 52% of respondents disagree that new chemical substances can help in contributing to a better environment.
  5. Three quarters of Europeans agree that new chemical substances are involved in most industrial innovations.
  6. 46% of Europeans would wait until a newly launched product containing new chemical substances had been proven to be working and safe over a long period of time before buying it.
  7. Only 2% of respondents would buy a new product immediately
  8. Three in five (61%) of Europeans say that the chemical substances on the EU market today are safer than they were 10 years ago.
  9. Half (49%) of Europeans think that EU manufactured products containing chemical substances are safer compared to those imported from outside the EU.
  10. Two thirds (65%) of Europeans agree that in the EU, products containing new chemical substances have been properly tested.
  11. 48% think that the authorities of the European Union authorities are responsible for the products' safety, 42% think it is currently carried out by the manufacturers themselves and a third (35%) think it is carried out by the national authorities. Three fifths (60%) think that the manufacturers themselves should have that role.
Full survey report is here:
http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/flash/fl_361_en.pdf

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