Parliament completes first reading on Reach

MEPs move close to council on registration, push for tougher controls on more dangerous substances

The European parliament completed its first reading of the EU chemical policy Reach on Thursday. Through a complex series of votes over more than two hours, the assembly agreed to simplify Reach's registration phase, but called for stricter authorisation controls on toxic chemicals.

The parliament's vote represents the biggest milestone for Reach since the regulation was tabled by the European commission in late 2003. The legislation will replace 40 existing laws, create an EU chemicals agency, require registration and testing for some 30,000 chemicals and encourage substitution of the most dangerous chemicals.

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