US Firms Balk at EU Crackdown on Chemicals

Tough new regs shift burden to proving products are safe
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2008 1:57 PM CDT
The European law is the opposite of America's policy; here, a chemical can only be restricted if it is proven to be dangerous.   (Shutterstock)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The European Union has passed a series of tough new laws requiring companies to prove that the chemicals in their products are safe, the Washington Post reports. The rule is the exact opposite of US law—which requires proof that a chemical is dangerous before it can be regulated—and manufacturers say it will add billions to their costs.

“There's a strong sense in Europe and the world at large that America is letting the market have a free ride,” one professor said. For the first time, manufacturers will have to reveal closely held information about their chemicals, in detailed risk reports. But the added safety and transparency could come with global price hikes.