Chemicals and environmental risks
Chemicals Product Control moves to Tukes on 1st January 2011
Chemicals Product Control will be centralized in Safety Technology Authority, which will be renamed as the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes).
The majority of information on chemicals at www.environment.fi will be transferred to www.tukes.fi/chemicals on 3rd January 2011. Information on International Chemicals Conventions (POP, PIC, ozone depleting substances, fluorinated greenhouse gases) and hazardous substances in the environment will remain at www.environment.fi.
Controlling the environmental risks of chemicals involves obtaining information on the effects of chemicals, and then assessing and reducing the related risks. Many legislative controls, economic policies and voluntary measures have been designed specifically to reduce these risks. Finland’s northerly location is a complicating factor, and it is vital that the special features of northern environments are given due consideration when the environmental risks of chemicals are evaluated by the EU.
One of the main goals of legislation on chemicals is to prevent environmental damage. Under the Chemicals Act, businesses are obliged wherever possible to use the chemicals that result in the lowest risks, or adopt methods that avoid using chemicals altogether. The new EU regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), which came into force on 1.6.07, has fundamentally changed the procedures applied to evaluate and eliminate risks related to the use of chemicals. The new 'CLP' Regulation - Regulation (EC) of the European Parlament and of the Council on classification, labelling and packaning of substances and mixtures, entered into force on 20th January 2009. CLP Regulation will amend and eventually repeal the existing directives for substances and preparations.
Co-operation between different authorities
The environmental authorities co-operate on the supervision of the use of chemicals with various other organisations, including health and safety authorities, the agricultural authorities, officials responsible for safety standards, and several research institutes. The Finnish Government has also nominated the Advisory Committee on Chemicals to oversee co-operation between the authorities and businesses.