Chemicals are all around us, from natural chemicals in food to industrially produced ones, distributed by trade and by long-range transport of pollutants, found in working surrounding, environment and consumers’ products. They may ease our everyday life but at the same time cause allergies, cancer, effects on the reproduction or chronic toxic effects.
Therefore the management of chemicals risks is one of the high priority issues on European and international levels. A large number of European directives as well as international agreements are available as tools for the reduction of risks posed by chemicals. This is inevitable a complex area demanding great resources as well as very good cooperation from public institutions and industry.
Estonia has transposed the existing requirements of the European Chemicals and chemicals-related legislation into national legislation. However besides the ensuring an adequate and efficient legislation on chemicals control, the main and even greater challenge is to develop the capability and the capacity of the enterprises to take their responsibility according the legislation. Especially now when a new chemicals policy has been launched in EU (called REACH – Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), which would furthermore give greater responsibility to industry and reverse the burden of proof from public authorities to industry for ensuring the safety of chemicals on the market.
Therefore continuous awareness and knowledge raising, know-how exchange, capacity building and strengthening of dialogue and cooperation of state authorities, industry, trade and consumers in a field of chemicals risk management through the workshops, specific meetings, trainings is one of the priority issues within the Baltic Environmental Forum Estonia.