Legislation that regulates the handling of chemicals in schools within the EU.
General Principles of EU Chemical Law
There are multiple EU laws that are applicable to chemical risks. The general principles for EU chemical law include:
- Prevention principle
It is better to prevent than to repair.
- Precautionary principle
Authorities must take appropriate measures to prevent specific potential risks to public health, safety and the environment. These interests precede economic interests.
- Polluter pays principle
The one who causes pollution to the environment is responsible for paying for the damage.
Different Types of EU Legislation Relevant to Chemicals in Schools
EU regulations are binding legislative acts for all member states and are directly applicable in all European Union countries. There are two regulations of particular importance for chemical safety:
- The Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (CLP) regulates how chemicals are classified with respect to hazard, and how the hazard and the relevant safe use and disposal is communicated. All hazardous chemical products in the EU must be labelled and packaged in accordance with the CLP-requirements, including solutions that are prepared and stored in schools.
- The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation (REACH) regulates chemicals, including by requiring industry to generate hazard and risk information and by restricting the use of certain chemicals because of their health or environmental hazards. It requires you, as a professional user, to read and comply with the information in the safety data sheet for all chemical products you use.
EU directives are adopted at EU level, and incorporated into national law by the EU and EEA countries so the directives become national or regional laws. The Waste Framework Directive (WFD) and the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD) are examples of EU directives.
Additional National Laws
Both EU Regulations and EU Directives are binding legal acts. However, the member states may have national legislation that is more restrictive than the EU Directives.