Filed under: Cosmetics, EU Regulation/Legislation, Nanomaterials | Tags: nanotechnology, testing
The European Consumer’s Union (beuc) has published a report entitled “Nano-materials in cosmetic products: definition needs to effectively protect consumers”. This report proposes ways to align the definitions of a nanomaterial in the EU cosmetic Regulations with that of the European Commission.
This is a sensible way forward. The Commission’s definition of a nanomaterial has been widely criticised in some quarters, but is seen by some as being relatively easily enforced, as the all the properties listed (particle size, number of nanoparticles, etc) are measurable, and anything the ability for properties to be accurately measured are, in my view, a pre-requisite to good legislation, regulation and enforcement.
Beuc believes that the alignment, which is needed for implementation of the nanomaterial requirements of the cosmetics Regulation in 2013, should:
– include all materials in which more than 0,15 % of the number of particles are present in the nano-size range;
– cover by-products which are not intentionally manufactured but which are present in the nano-range;
– include soluble nano-particles and nano-structures which have specifically been designed to carry encapsulated substances that will be released to the systemic circulation;
– include nano-particles below 1nm such as fullerenes;
– add a criterion on volume specific surface area as particle size distribution alone is insufficient to give information about the surface area which has an impact on the reactivity of the particles.
A new quality protocol on “Poultry Litter Ash – End of waste criteria for the production and use of treated ash from the incineration of poultry litter, feathers and straw”has been published by the Environment Agency (EA) and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme).
It is applicable in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and sets out the end of waste criteria for the production and use of poultry litter ash from the combustion of poultry litter, feathers and straw. In particular, it sets out maximum limits for trace elements within poultry litter ash (PLA) to be used as fertiliser and specifies the EA sampling guidelines to be followed and specified that all analytical tests must be carried out by laboratories accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 (in the UK accredited by UKAS) for the analytes of interest.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has initiated consultations on proposals for a further three substances for Harmonsied Classification and Labelling (CLH).
The substances are:
* Tebuconazole and Imazalil (both pesticides/biocides)
* Diisohexyl Phthalate (DIHP), a plasticiser
Interested parties are invited to comment by 21 September for DIHP and 5 October for Tebuconazole and Imazalil.
The German Welfare Federation and the Animal Welfare Academy have jointly published a report which claims that EU legislation concerning the protection of animals used in scientific testing is not being fully implemented, or consistently implemented across the EU, when carrying out toxicological studies for risk assessments of chemicals. Some of the main areas where such risk assessments are required are for REACH and biocides.
There are many alternative methods for risk assessments which do not involve animal testing, and the authors list a number of possible reasons why these are not being adopted more quickly, including a shortage of resources in the implementation of new techniques and possible misinformation regarding the applicability or validity of some of the alternative methods.
Many groups across the EU have made representations regarding the continued use of animal testing when it may be considered to be unnecessary. This report highlights this position and draws attention to the alternative testing methods which exist, and have been developed by innovative scientists in order to remove the need for animal testing.
These methods, where applicable, should be used wherever possible, the EU authorities need to be clear on which of these are acceptable, and those laboratories who have developed them and can carry them out need to do more to promote them.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has proposed a further 38 Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) to be added to the REACH Candidate List at the end of August.
This will bring the number of substances on the Candidate List to 136 – one more than the target of 135 set by the European Commission in 2010.
These substances – the full list can be found here – are in addition to those proposed by some Member States. 15 new substances have been proposed for the Candidate List by Member States including Decabromodiphenyl ether (Deca-BDE), a fire retardant claimed to have PBT (persistent bioaccumulative toxic chemical) properties. The proposal of deca-BDE to the list has been criticised by EU flame retardant manufacturers.
The ECHA list contains many lead compounds including tetraethyl lead, prevously used as a fuel additive for many years prior to the advent of unleaded petrol.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has launched a consultation process regarding a Harmonised Classification and Labelling (HCL) from the Swedish Chemicals Agency for diisohexyl phthalate to be included under the hazard class of reproductive toxicity. The report from the Swedish Chemicals Agency can be found here.
Under the Red Tape Challenge Energy theme, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has announced that it will be streamlining the Offshore Chemicals Regulations 2002 as amended in 2011 to improve functionality and reduce costs for installation operators whilst maintaining all environmental protections.
Improving regulation to improve clarity and effectiveness is an aid to improved enforcement, particularly where measurement and other technical issues are involved.
The full list of regulations being improved or scrapped can be found here.