MERAG 2016

Owing to our extensive background in metals risk assessments, ARCHE Consulting was contracted by the European Metals Industry to compile a guidance document for the environmental risk assessment of metals and inorganic metal compounds.

The main sponsors of the MERAG project were:

Metal risk assessment guidance

The Metals Environmental Risk Assessment Guidance (MERAG) document was first published in 2007, as a result of a collaborative effort between industry, the scientific community and governments to gather and consolidate knowledge on the best ways to assess metals.

Since its publication, MERAG has played a vital role in ensuring that minerals and metals are produced and used safely worldwide. It has been widely adopted, from being used as official guidance for the EU's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation in Europe to the UN's Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) and even the regulations governing marine transport of cargoes.

MERAG outlines the critical requirements for appropriate assessment of metals in a series of fact sheets, which were peer-reviewed by leading independent scientists. These fact sheets were intended to be living documents, as the science would evolve as concepts were applied and refined, and new approaches emerged.

Over the past two years, the collaboration that originally created MERAG has been renewed, the original document has been reviewed, and the fact sheets have been updated as needed. Six of the original eight have been updated, and a new fact sheet on applying a weight-of-evidence approach has been added. All of the fact sheets have been independently reviewed once again and are now freely available for anyone to use, adapt, and apply to their own scenarios. As before, the guidance is intended to evolve as new concepts develop and experience is gained in applying them. Therefore, feedback is welcome, and we encourage the users and readers of MERAG to provide examples of its application for us to share as appropriate.

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