• B. BilitewskiEmail author
  • R. M. Darbra
  • D. Barceló
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 18)


Many potential hazardous compounds are traded worldwide as chemicals or incorporated as additives in consumer and industrial products. Their release to the environment has been a concern of the European Commission, UNO, WHO and OECD. The discussion of the assessment and management of chemicals and products led to the creation of the OECD programme Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The World Summit encouraged countries to implement GHS with a view of having the System operating by 2008. The need to form GHS on a global scale is part of the EU policy. GHS aims to have the same criteria worldwide to classify and harmonise the responsible trade and handling of chemicals and products and at the same time protect human health and the environment. The EU will ensure transition from the current EU Classification and Labelling (C + L) system to the implementation of GHS, which harmonises with REACH registration. However, a complete picture on the global state of implementation is not available. With the growing level of worldwide trade, we however face unsafe consumer products on the market. These examples show that on a global perspective the trade of chemicals and products in a circular economy is not acceptable without globally agreed assessment methods and harmonised C + L (GHS).

The overall objective of the Coordinating Action RISKCYCLE is to define together with international, European and national experts from different programmes future needs of R + D contributions for innovations in the field of risk-based management of chemicals and products in a global perspective using alternative testing strategies to minimise animal tests.


Chemicals Circular economy Globally Harmonised System Risk assessment 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Abfallwirtschaft und Altlasten, TU DresdenPirnaGermany
  2. 2.CERTEC, Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversitat Politècnica de Catalunya, ETSEIBBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Environmental ChemistryIDAEA-CSICBarcelonaSpain

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