Filed under: EU Information, EU Regulation/Legislation | Tags: chemicals, defence; explosives
The European Union have issued an updated list of defence-related products corresponding to those listed in the Common Military List of the European Union, adopted by the Council on 19 March 2007. The list is contained in Directive 2013/47/EU, which updates Directive 2009/43/EC.
The new directive identifies all chemical and biological agents used in warfare, including CAS numbers (for chemical agents). It also identifies explosives, fuels, additives and propellants (known as “Energetic Materials”).
It is important that robust analytical methods exist in appropriate laboratories to identify these substances, and to quantify them where necessary. Monitoring of chemical and biological agents, internationally, remains the responsibility of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The European Commission’s DG Environment is consulting on the list of substances which are restricted under the recast of the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive (RoHS2), used in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE).
The use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE) in EEE has been banned/restricted since 2006, although some exemptions are allowed for specific applications where there is no alternative.
The Commission have identified the flame retardants Tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBP-A) and Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) and the phthalates Bis (2-ehtylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) as high priority substances and should be reviewed (with the exception of TBBP-A) in the first tranche of reviews.
The intention is to publish the updated list of restricted substances in 2014.
Measurement of the substances in EEE is not a trivial matter; methods of analysis for Chromium (VI) and brominated flame retardants are still under development to a certain extent and the number of certified reference materials (CRMs) for these is still worringly low. Good quality analytical measurements are an essential part of enforcement of RoHS2.
The Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) of the UK’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have published Regulatory Update 3/13 providing advice on implementing the requirements of the EC Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP) for plant protection products (PPPs).
This advice stresses the need to classify and label products with respect to their physico-chemical properties, human health and environmental effects. Clearly this requires that substances in PPPs are properly identified and named in order for them to be appropriately classified.
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA, REACH/CLP | Tags: CLP; REACH; Chemicals; ECHA, REACH
The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has recommended that a further 10 substances classified as SVHCs (substances of very high concern) and on the Candidate List, be added to Annex XIV under REACH.
The list includes arsenic acid, N,N-dimethylacetamide and 4 chromates.
The European Commission has published two Citizen’s Summaries fact sheets covering cosmetics.
One covers the subject of allergen fragrances in cosmetic products and highlights the potential allergic reaction issues which may affect EU citizens; between 1 and 3% of EU citizens exhibit allergic reactions to certain fragrance compounds.
The other is on the subject of methylene glycol in hair-straightening products. This is an area of wide concern given that methylene glycol exists in equilibrium with formaldehyde (being, put simply, a reaction product of formaldehyde and water). Therefore, although methylene glycol itself is not toxic, it breaks down readily in many conditions to form formaldehyde which is both toxic and allergenic. It is therefore now considered to be equivalent to formaldehyde in this respect, and limits on how much can be used in hair-straightening products must be introduced. Measurement of methylene glycol, considering its tendency to dissociate into formaldehyde and water, is normally carried out by conversion to formaldehyde; this is an area of work being carried out in LGC at present.
A report published by UK manufacturer’s organisation EEF has highlighted the problems facing many companies in the UK in dealing with the impact of the REACH legislation.
The report indicates that a substantial minority of companies, of all sizes, do not recognise the importance of REACH to their business, or believe that REACH does not apply. Any company using chemicals as part of their business needs to be aware of REACH in order to be compliant; this is particularly so when using substances of very high concern (SVHCs) which may be need to be substituted by less harmful chemicals in their products and processes.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published a call for evidence to examine the case for expanding the restriction on cadmium in plastics from the current 16 specific plastic materials listed in Annex XVII of REACH to all plastic materials.
ECHA have published a preparatory report on the subject which sets out the background and technical information in this area. Only cadmium oxide and cadmium carbonate are used in a range of polymers in Europe, and these would be affected by any extension of the current REACH restrictions.
Testing of polymers for cadmium and its compounds is relatively straightforward for competent laboratories holding accreditation for such measurements.