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Le règlement REACH, une politique européenne de l'incertain

Abstract : REACH Regulation : A European Uncertainty Policy The Building of an Indirect Policy Making Process for Chemical Hazards Over the last century, the chemical industry has synthesised and commercialised more than 100,000 chemicals with no premarket authorization. The effects of those chemicals on human health remain therefore largely unknown. This article first analyses the political strategies that have aimed at controlling those chemicals over the past 50 years, and casts a light on the differences between Europe and the United States. Then it characterizes the political process that has resulted in the adoption of REACH in December 2006 after intense controversies and negotiations. This Regulation is not a complete innovation, quite to the contrary it has derived from political processes rooted in European policies. However, REACH implies some changes linked to the integration of the Precautionary Principle in environmental policies. In particular, it induces a shift of the burden of proof from governmental bodies to industrial firms regarding the identification and assessment of dangerous chemicals. Still, this shift is far from solving all the issues surrounding the implementation of the Regulation and from reducing all the uncertainties linked to the industrial use of chemicals.
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Jean-Noël Jouzel, Pierre Lascoumes. Le règlement REACH, une politique européenne de l'incertain. Politique européenne, l'Harmattan, 2011, 1 (33), pp.185-214. ⟨10.3917/poeu.033.0185⟩. ⟨hal-01024410⟩

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