Divided into five pools, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published a list of over 21,000 REACH registered substances mapped in its ‘chemical universe’.

According to ECHA, the mapping of registered substances, also called the chemical universe, is a planning and monitoring tool that helps Member States and EU authorities focus on substances of (potential) concern and identify appropriate regulatory actions, where needed. For companies and other stakeholders, publishing the mapping provides additional transparency on the work of authorities and the progress made in regulating chemicals. Over 21,000 substances have been divided into five pools based on the regulatory actions in place, initiated or considered for them. ECHA said the listing also highlights that there are still thousands of substances for which possible actions have not yet been determined.

The five pools regard ‘regulatory risk management ongoing’ for substances with confirmed hazards for human health and the environment; ‘regulatory risk management under consideration’ for substances that are currently being considered for regulatory risk management, ‘data generation’ for substances that require additional information to conclude whether further regulatory action is needed, ‘currently no further actions proposed’ for substances for which authorities have not proposed further regulatory action at the moment; and ‘not yet assigned’ for substances currently registered under REACH but not yet assigned to any of the other pools.“We are currently focusing mostly on the substances registered for volumes greater than 100 tonnes per year, where we aim to assign each substance to one of the pools by the end of 2020. For all registered substances, the work should be concluded by 2027”, said Jack de Bruijn, Director for Prioritisation and Integration, ECHA. “For many substances, further hazard data will need to be generated as non-compliant registrations are hampering progress. To that end, we have a joint action plan with the Commission to improve compliance of registrations to ensure they contain the necessary information to establish safe use”, he added.