Assessment of Health and Environmental Benefits of REACH

Background and tasks

The objective of the REACH regulation is to improve the level of health and safety for humans and the environment while at the same time fostering competitiveness and innovation of the European industries. Prior to the REACH implementation several studies were carried out to predict the types and extent of benefits for human health and the environment that could be achieved by REACH.

The EU Commission is obliged to report on the operation of REACH, including the achievement of objectives in relation to the health and environmental benefits. A study on measuring some of the REACH impacts on human health and the environment was conducted by Eurostat (so called baseline study).

Objectives and results

The objective of the project was to further analyze the nature and extent of benefits for human health (consumers and workers) and the environment and complement the findings of the Eurostat study. The work was focused on better describing and illustrating the benefit drivers of REACH (legal provisions triggering a benefit), quantifying the benefits where possible and developing proposals how the benefit generation could be enhanced.

The project team carried out a review of the benefit assessment studies conducted prior to REACH and extracted their approaches to describing benefit drivers and quantifying health and environmental benefits. Information to update the assessments prior to REACH were not available yet.

Therefore a limited number of case studies and qualitative analyses on different aspects of REACH was conducted in order to obtain information on how the benefit drivers work in practice and which types of impacts can be measured at this point in time. In addition, information from surveys of other, parallel studies were used.

The final report highlights the relevance of different benefit drivers and the nature and extent of the benefits they generate, as far as possible. Furthermore, recommendations are made as to future benefit assessment methodologies and how to enhance the functioning of the benefit drivers.

Further contact: Antonia Reihlen


Dirk Jepsen

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