REACH is a new European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use. This Regulation is a hybrid that combines hierarchy and heterarchy from a both a legal and an organisational perspective. Such hybridism is, however, not a feature that is particular to REACH. Rather the EU itself must be understood as a hybrid, thereby making REACH a hybrid operating within a hybrid. The hybrid structure of REACH reflects its societal function, which is to simultaneously separate and combine politics, science, economy, health and the environment within a single legal framework. The legitimacy of REACH reflects its hybrid structure in the sense that it is based on a combination of democratic, procedural and deliberative components.