Brussels, 19 October - The Metals Gateway online portal, launched today, brings together a wealth of information to provide regulators and risk assessment professionals with the metals risk assessment tools they need to help protect people’s wellbeing.
The Metals Gateway package includes:
- Metals in the Environment – factsheets on what makes metals different from other chemicals, how they interact with other substances and biological organisms under different conditions, water quality, pH etc.
- REACH Metals Gateway – Guidance for the EU and International Metals Industry in the implementation process of the EU REACH and CLP Regulations. The REACH Metals Gateway allows quick and structured access to relevant information from authorities and from the metals industry.
- The Metals Toolbox - Tools and guidelines to enable regulators and stakeholders to accommodate metal-specificities in hazard identification and risk assessments.
Developed by a group of metal commodity associations, including the Nickel Institute and led by Eurometaux, this free and open knowledge platform provides easy access to science-based models, data, literature, factsheets and information that are essential for understanding why the risk from metals exposures are different from other substances.
“Protection of the health and safety of consumers, workers, communities and the environment is a prerequisite of equitable and productive societies”, said Violaine Verougstraete, Chemicals Management Director, Eurometaux. “Every individual and institution has a role to play in ensuring the wellbeing of all. This objective is enshrined in the UN SDGs and is particularly acute as the world responds to the largest public health crisis in modern history.”
“The metals sector understands the pressures and challenges that regulators are under with respect to chemicals and has worked with regulatory authorities to generate metal, metal compound and metal-containing material-specific hazard and risk assessment data for over two decades, investing many millions of dollars in basic and applied science.”
“Metals and inorganic substances behave differently from other substances in the environment, in the bodies of humans and animals and in combination with each other and other chemicals,” added Violaine Verougstraete. “The metals sector recognises that such differences are not necessarily well understood by all and nor are the data and tools required to assess metals and metal substance risks readily available. This is why we have developed the Metals Gateway, as a ‘one stop shop’ for those charged with regulation and risk assessment of metals.”
About the Metals Gateway:
The Metals Gateway is a joint initiative of the Cobalt Institute, Eurometaux, European Copper Institute, International Molybdenum Association, International Lead Association, International Zinc Association, Nickel Institute, World Aluminium.
Regulators, industry and civil society have a crucial role to play in identifying the hazards to which their communities could be exposed, assessing the health risks presented by those hazards and in managing or mitigating those risks. But this job is not simple:
- Different hazards require different approaches
- Balancing risks is not easy. This has been brought into sharp focus by the current pandemic where governments and advisors are having to balance short term Covid response against the long term health impacts of lockdown and other measures. It is also true when we need to balance different objectives (e.g. climate transition, circularity and management of risks)
- Exposures can occur in combination – potentially multiplying risks
- Under EU REACH, European regulators have had to assess over 20,000 chemicals – and as other jurisdictions begin to develop chemicals management systems, decisions will need to be made as to whether to build such systems from scratch or borrow from existing resources.
- The burden on regulators to assess new chemicals and combinations is resource and data intensive.