The European REACH directive, which has been in effect since 2007, created a new framework for chemicals management. REACH stands for “Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals”.
The objective of the directive is to collect information on all of the materials on the market in the EU, to evaluate them and to protect humans and the environment with appropriate measures. This is initially carried out by the producers and importers of the materials, who compile data, perform analyses if necessary, evaluate the results and make them accessible to the authorities in the form of registration dossiers. Together with other companies, Aurubis became involved in a number of consortia at the European level early on. This ensured that the registration dossiers were scientifically based and developed cost-efficiently at the same time – an approach that proved to be successful.
At Aurubis, the group-wide fulfillment of the REACH requirements is coordinated centrally in Hamburg. Furthermore, we have contacts at the individual sites who are responsible for local implementation. This is very important in an expanding company in order to ensure that all of the requirements are complied with. Most of the materials Aurubis produces and imports were registered successfully and on time in 2010 and 2013. We now regularly review the relevant material streams at the sites and prepare additional registrations that have become necessary. The existing registration dossiers are regularly updated to adjust them to current requirements and proven approaches and to take new results into consideration.
Another central responsibility is consultation on the safety data sheets in the Aurubis Group. The CLP regulation on the classification and labeling of materials introduced a new classification system, and due to new insights, there are also ongoing changes to the classifications of materials. This has gathered speed due to the information gained within the scope of REACH. The safety data sheets have to be continuously updated accordingly and, in some cases, supplemented with extensive exposure scenarios.