Almost 30,000 preparations classified as dangerous containing more than 5,000 substances classified as dangerous are imported to or manufactured in Finland. Many of these can be found in ordinary everyday products. Chemicals can cause harm to human health or the environment.
There is an enormous need for information regarding chemicals issues among the public sector, businesses and consumers. The health and environmental effects of chemicals have not always been studied thoroughly enough, and the effects of long-term chemical usage are not necessarily known.
Tukes is tasked with the supervision and promotion of chemicals safety and the safety and quality of plant protection products. These duties are laid down in chemicals, environmental production and plant protection product legislation and are mostly based on EU chemicals legislation.
Tukes is the competent authority concerning the REACH Regulation and the CLP Regulation and maintains the Finnish REACH and CLP helpdesk. In these duties Tukes cooperates with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which is located in Helsinki. Tukes also maintains the Finnish chemicals product register (KETU) and is responsible for the authorisation of plant protection products and biocides in Finland.
Compliance with chemicals legislation is also monitored by Tukes. Under the Chemicals Act, Tukes is responsible for the national direction of the Regional State Administrative Agencies and municipal chemicals supervision authorities through tools including the national Chemicals Act supervision programme. Tukes is also in charge of supervision under the Plant Protection Products Act and provides steering for the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.
Tukes participates in international cooperation in the context of chemicals in organisations including the UN, OECD and the Nordic Council of Ministers. It also provides Finnish Government ministries with assistance in legislative drafting and participates in the work of Finland's Advisory Committee on Chemicals.