On 1st June 2007, REACH entered into force. Based on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals, REACH is a highly original new integrated system. It requires 'downstream users' such as the tyre and rubber industry to gather information on the properties of the substances that they use, to promote their safe management and to progressively substitute the most dangerous substances with safer alternatives.
December 2008 represented the end of the pre-registration phase, during which EU manufacturers and importers (M/I) of chemicals have expressed to the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) their intention to complete the registration process according to specific deadlines (2010, 2013 or 2018) depending both on chemical/physical properties of the chemicals involved and their annual tonnage volumes.
In 2008-2009 ETRMA focused its activities on dangerous chemicals for which importers and manufacturers must perform exposure estimations and risk assessment for each identified use, including occupational, environment, product service life, and end of life exposures. ETRMA experts, who have gained in the past considerable experience in assessing the health and environmental impacts of substances used in the rubber compounding process, jointly worked on characterising and controlling the use of chemicals in the rubber industry. A new set of waste water emission factors for the rubber industry was also developed.
Starting from 2010, optimising and homogenising the communication between chemicals suppliers and rubber manufacturers has become crucial and the proper communication of this information to the supply chain, including discussion with suppliers on Safety Data Sheets content and formats.
“ETRMA's proactive approach has been considered at both European and global level as a very efficient way to establish and enhance a communication between downstream users and chemical manufacturers. Such a co-operative supply chain exchange in the framework of REACH, besides being very productive for the tyre and rubber industry, has been highly appreciated by all involved counterparts.”