Three-tiered approach for standard information requirements for polymers requiring registration under REACH

In a Nutshell

An ECETOC Task Force has proposed a three-tier approach to information requirements for risk assessment of polymers. The proposal ensures that animal testing is only used as ‘a last resort’, while still ensuring the quality of data for the risk assessment.  Polymers cover a broad spectrum of generally very large molecules, including e.g. cellulose, waxes, and resins. They are also constituents of plastics and play essential and widespread roles in everyday life. Polymers pose both technical and scientific challenges for safety testing and assessment due to the size, properties and/or form of polymers. Conventional risk assessment approaches currently used for small molecules may not apply to most polymers. One potential application of the framework could be potential future assessment of polymers under the umbrella of the REACH Regulation.