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Re-examination of the Poisons Act.

Comment 8th September 2010

The Poisons Act is outdated, confusing and ineffectual legislation which needs to be reviewed against current European Law and amended to effectively deliver the necessary and appropriate safeguards for the safe sale and supply of those chemicals which are judged by today's standards to require such controls.

There should be a re-instatement of the Poisons Board to examine the validity of the Poisons Rules and review them in the light of modern legislative and operational standards.

The anomaliesand inconsistencies that exist in this legislation compound the confusion surrounding the scope of the various lists of chemicals to such an extent that the outcomes are counter-productive and do not add to the level of safety of the public that they should.

Why does this matter?

The industry in the UK  believes (and in private so do a number of authorities ) that this legislation is out of date and no longer fit for purpose to such an extent that the regulations are almost counter-productive due to the confusion that surrounds them.

There is also an urgency to bring these UK – only rules into line with the various EU directives and regulations that govern such compounds elsewhere in Europe ( such as Reach ) so that a barrier to trade is not created and our UK Industry is not denied access, sale and supply of certain important substances.

Conversely, the aim of restricting such a limited number of chemicals, many currently inappropriately within the scope of the Poisons Rules and associated lists, whilst ignoring the many substances of concern which are new to the market, does nothing to deliver the outcomes for which this legislation was orginally invoked.

A far reaching root and branch review of the Poisons Act  is therefore called for as the key objective of protecting the public through ensuring effective and appropriate controls of  the right materials is not achieved whilst the position is adversely compounded by the wrong materials being unnecessarily restricted.

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