Chemical safety cards

Chemical safety cards (only in Finnish) provide summaries of chemicals' environmental and safety impacts and risk management based on EU risk assessments. The summaries are based on the evaluation programme on existing substances based on previous European chemicals legislation (Regulation (EEC) No 793/93), and the full risk assessments can be accessed on the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) website.

The summaries also provide information about substance classification, concentrations known to be hazardous and use of the substance in Finland based on the Product Register of Chemicals. It should be noted regarding data on quantities that the tonnes figure provided refers to the amount of products containing the chemical rather than the amount of pure substance manufactured and imported. Each summary ends with information about the risk reduction strategy and any further measures (such as bans and restrictions) and proposals for national measures.

The EU risk assessments are based on the physical and chemical properties of the substance, its health and environmental impacts and human exposure during the manufacture and use of the chemical. If measured data was not available on employee, consumer or environmental exposure, exposure was estimated using models. If a risk assessment concluded that a substance caused too high a risk for employees, consumers or the environment, the Member State that prepared the risk assessment developed a risk reduction strategy for the substance, with a recommendation regarding risk reduction measures then provided by the European Commission on the basis of it.

Commission recommendations have proposed either Community-level or national risk reduction measures. These recommendations are not directly binding on national authorities or enterprises. If new legislation or amendments to existing legislation are proposed by a risk reduction recommendation, the recommendation must be implemented separately under sectoral legislation. Future obligations can, however, be anticipated on the basis of the recommendations.

Occupational and environmental protection measures of individual facilities must be considered case-specifically. It should be remembered that the risks detected in a risk assessment do not necessarily always depict the Finnish situation: a chemical can also pose a risk in uses other than those identified in the assessment, or measures taken by an individual facility may already prevent the risk despite the European-wide assessment identifying it. Information about risks obtained through the risk assessments and proposals given in the risk reduction recommendations can, however, be used to assist in the identification of national risks and the design of risk reduction measures needed.

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