The Concept of Essential Use: A Novel Approach to Regulating Chemicals in the European Union

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Abstract

This article examines 'essential use' as a novel form of regulatory control. An essential use approach to the regulation of potentially hazardous chemicals has not been used extensively (if at all) in European Union (EU) regulatory law and warrants further consideration. Essential use, as initially proposed by scientists and later referred to in the EU 2020 Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, is a radical departure from the current method of regulating hazardous substances. The purpose of this article is to contribute to legal scholarship on essential use by (i) scoping its origins in United States law and subsequently in international law; (ii) noting its limited incorporation into the EU legal order over the past 30 years; (iii) analyzing how it could be further incorporated into the EU legal order; and (iv) considering the impact of such a move on the future regulation of hazardous substances in the EU.

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Garnett, K., & Van Calster, G. (2021). The Concept of Essential Use: A Novel Approach to Regulating Chemicals in the European Union. Transnational Environmental Law, 10(1), 159–187. https://doi.org/10.1017/S2047102521000042

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