This report highlights the opportunities inherent in smart regulatory measures to effectively reduce risks related to hazardous substance emissions and exposure, and underscores the danger of simplistic and ineffective policy. The example of different regulatory approaches used in Germany and Sweden to regulate the use of trichloroethylene was taken as the basis for the study. During the 1990s, due to environmental, health and safety considerations, the use of trichloroethylene in Europe was a subject of broad concern. As a consequence, the use of trichloroethylene became regulated through multiple approaches, such as labelling, handling regulations and performance standards. Since that time the absolute emissions of trichloroethylene in Europe have been decreasing consistently in all member states. These results were achieved by various regulatory measures governing the use of trichloroethylene in industrial applications that have been introduced by individual Member States. However, given the implementation responsibility at Member State level not all member States have implemented the same set of regulatory measures. In Germany, for example, the use of trichloroethylene is regulated through strict technical standards for equipment and emissions that has required companies to replace existing old machines with the state-of-the-art equipment. In Sweden a general ban on trichloroethylene use was introduced in 1996, which however eventually evolved into an exemption permit system for companies that found no alternative to degreasing with trichloroethylene.
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