Volume No. 9 Issue No.: 2 Page No.: 494-506 October-December 201

 

ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION FOR CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT IN INDIA : AN AGENDA FOR REFORMS

 

Balaji G*, Potdar Aditee and Unnikrishnan Seema

National Institute of Industrial Engineering, NITIE, Mumbai (INDIA)

 

Received on : July 10, 2014

 

ABSTRACT

 

There are multiple legislation for chemical management in India that falls under the purview of different Ministries viz. Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (Environment Protection Act, 1986), Ministry of Labour (Factories Act, 1948), Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (Motor Vehicles Act, 1988), Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Explosives Act, 1884), Ministry of Home Affairs (Disaster Management Act, 2005), Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals (Chemical Weapons Convention Act, 2000) etc. The REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) legislation, enacted by the European Union has the main aim of protecting human health and environment from the hazardous effects of chemicals and to have a sustainable chemical policy; it replaces around 40 different environment related legislation. To retain their position in the global market, several other countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, China, etc. are also adopting a similar policy. India may also require pursuing similar measures. Apart from an array of regulations, there are no specific legislation in India pertaining to registration of substances, preparation of a national inventory, restrictions on hazardous substances, banning of certain substances, detailed classification and labeling criteria and transport classification. Though some of these issues have been considered widely under certain legislation; they are still required to be addressed adequately in a comprehensive, scientific and coherent manner. A need for adopting a holistic approach towards chemical legislation exists. A centralized, nodal body could be established for working on developing legislation for chemical management as well as for monitoring their implementation. The multiple legislation governing chemicals may be consolidated into a coherent and comprehensive legislation, which will simplify its implementation and monitoring. This could also facilitate the creation of a chemicals inventory in India. There is a need to create legislation in India similar to REACH for safe use of chemicals for protection of human health and environment.

 

Keywords : Environmental Legislation, Chemical management, REACH, Asbestos, Green house gases

 

 

BACK