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HSE review: September 2006

SpecialChem / Sep 6, 2006

The second issue of this quarterly column highlights a number of conflicts in the way that HSE issues are interpreted. Some of this is all too familiar - as in the case of the REACH update - but some is unexpected and provides food for thought. The REACH news highlights the all-too-familiar conflict between commercial interests seeking to minimise the direct financial losses which REACH will impose, and environmental organisations lamenting the continuing concessions that are being made for just that reason. Meanwhile, in the USA, tension between the Bush administration and environmental organisations is growing to the point at which the courts are being asked to intervene to make the administration more environmentally responsible. That sounds like an impossibility, but the legal approach is certainly an interesting development. A small correction which has to be made to one of the items in the previous column emphasises a point dear to the editor's heart: 'nanotech' is a wonderful word that means whatever you want it to mean.

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