The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has announced that the public Classification and Labelling (C&L) Inventory has been updated to include all notifications for substances for which there is at least one notification classifying it as hazardous according to Article 119(1) of REACH.
This has been in response to some concerns about the coverage of the inventory.
Filed under: chemicals, Customs, EU Information | Tags: chemicals, illicit drugs
The European Commission has proposed that tighter controls be brought in to cover drug precursor chemicals. Chemicals used in the manufacture of illicit drugs also have many legitimate uses, such as in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, perfumes and plastics.
The first proposal covers ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which are used to make flu and allergy medicines, but are also illegally exploited to produce methamphetamines (a.k.a. meth, ice, speed or crack).
The second proposal covers trade in acetic anhydride which, although legally traded for use in many industrial processes, is also used in the illicit manufacture of heroin.
These proposals will require authorities to be able to identify umambiguously these chemicals, as well as measuring them in mixtures, for effective enforcement of any subsequent regulation.
ECHA’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) has adopted 5 new opinions on harmonised classification and labelling (HCL) across Europe.
Cymoxanil: Used as a fungicide, this already has a harmonised classification as toxic through both acute and repeated exposure and as toxic to the environment. The proposal from Austria was agreed which will classify this substance as acutely toxic through the oral route, sensitising to skin, toxic after repeated exposure and as a developmental toxicant. It should also be classified as a reproductive toxicant for effects on fertility and very toxic to the aquatic environment with long-lasting effects.
4-vinylcyclohexene (VCH): Used in the production of flame retardants, flavours, fragrances and other chemicals and as a solvent. The proposal from France to classify it as a substance suspected of causing cancer in humans was agreed to.
Fenoxycarb: Used as an insecticide, the proposal from Germany was agreed which classifies fenoxycarb as a substance suspected of causing cancer in humans and as very toxic to the aquatic environment with acute and long-lasting effects.
Tralkoxydim: Used as a herbicide, the United Kingdom proposal to classify tralkoxydim as acutely toxic through the oral route, as a substance suspected of causing cancer in humans and as toxic to the aquatic life with long-lasting effects was agreed to, but the proposal from the UK to classify tralkoxydim as toxic after repeated exposure was not.
Penconazole: Used as a fungicide. The proposal from Germany was agreed that will classify penconazole as acutely toxic through the oral route and toxic to the aquatic life with long lasting effects. It was also agreed to classify this substance as a reproductive toxicant for effects on development.
Filed under: EU Regulation/Legislation, REACH/CLP, Uncategorized | Tags: chemicals, REACH
The European Commission has published in the Official Journal a number of new restrictions under Annex XVII of REACH.
Cadmium in jewellery, brazing and alloys and PVC
Lead in jewellery articles with a concentration greater than or equal to 0.05 % by weight of the individual part, unless it can be demonstrated that the rate of lead released does not exceed the limit of 0.05 μg/cm2/h. There is an exemption for naturally occurring lead in crystal glass and vitreous enamels, non-synthetic or reconstructed precious and semiprecious stones.
Mercury in measuring devices except for medical devices currently in use which will be phased out so that current studies may be completed using the same devices throughout the study. Historical devices such as thermometers and barometers for display purposes are also exempt.
The restrictions have been considered appropriate due to the toxicity of the substances covered, and the availability now, or in the foreseeable future, of alternatives.
Filed under: EU Regulation/Legislation, Nanomaterials, Uncategorized | Tags: nanotechnology, testing
The European Commissions Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published a new report reviewing the methods used for measuring nanoparticle size, in support of the European Commission’s recommendation on a common definition of the term “nanomaterial” for regulatory purposes.
This blog has always made clear that in order to enforce this definition in a regulatory context, appropriate validated measurement methods are required. The report also considers nanoparticle reference materials (see blog post of 17 September).
The report covers ensemble methods (e.g. dynamic light scattering and small-angle X-ray scattering), used for measuring large numbers of particles simultaneously, counting methods (e.g. particle tracking analysis or electron microscopy) and fractionation methods (e.g. centrifugal liquid sedimentation and field flow fractionation), so is therefore very comprehensive in considering all the measurement issues relevant to measuring size and numbers of nanoparticles in support of the Commission definition.
Filed under: Nanomaterials, Reference materials, Uncategorized | Tags: nanotechnology
LGC, the UK’s designated National Measurement Institute for chemical and bioanalytical measurement, is developing a range of nanoparticle reference materials to enable the development of traceable methods for improved in vitro toxicity measurement for safety assessment.
These will be assessed for their physical and chemical properties in an in vitro biological matrix. These materials will be based on the high quality nanoparticles produced by the EU-Joint Research Centre (JRC) which have undergone extensive physical characterization in the dry-powder form. LGC are carrying out the characterization work using a unique combination of Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis , with field flow fractionation coupled to inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (FFF-ICPMS), allowing complex suspensions of nanomaterials to be characterized for their size, size distribution, charge, concentration, dissolution and elemental composition.
Filed under: chemicals, Environment/Ecology | Tags: chemicals, Environmental
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has issued the latest Global Chemicals Outlook report which warns of the “chemical intensification” of economies. The report says that this issue could be very damaging for the environment of develop countries as well as for the health of their citizens.
The report goes on to say that this intensification is not necessarily a bad thing, and emphasises how sound chemicals management can support a greener economy and lead to major economic benefits.
Of particular concern is the trend for exporting hazardous chemicals for both use and disposal from developed countries to developing countries, where legislation to protect from their effects is weaker.
The report highlights the fact that of the estimated 140,000+ chemicals on the market today, only a fraction has been thoroughly evaluated to determine their effects on human health and the environment, and that recycling of e-waste is a particular issue of concern, with much recycling carried out in developing countries, leading, for example, to human exposure to dioxins from the burning of electrical cables.