Keywords: chemicals policy, cost-benefit analysis, environmental properties, exposure, precautionary principle, REACH system, risk analysis, risk assessment, scientific uncertainty, substitution principle, human health
Science and precaution in the risk analysis of chemicals
This work shows the risk assessment procedures for chemicals and the factors that can determine the area of scientific uncertainty in the evaluation process, making the application of the precautionary principle necessary. The nature of the actions to be adopted on the basis of the precautionary approach, that is expressly included in the European Union Treaty, can be quite different. These actions aim to identify and reduce potential effects on human health and environment when there is a suspicion of serious and irreversible risks. The analysis of the alternative options is a fundamental part of the precautionary approach such as the practice of the substitution through safer alternatives and technological innovations. In the risk analysis process, the application of the precautionary principle for chemicals might take on a more significant role as a consequences of the new European chemical policy introduced by the presentation of the White Paper.