Government Chemist Seminar 26 February 2013 by Nick Boley
February 28, 2013, 15:16
Filed under: Government Chemist Information, Uncategorized | Tags:

The Government Chemist Seminar on “REACH and CLP enforcement: measurement and related issues for Public Analysts and Enforcement Authorities” took place on Tuesday 26 February at Lancashire County Cricket Club, Old Trafford, Manchester.

Over 50 delegates, mainly from Public Analyst laboratories, Local Authorities and industry, attended this event.

Feedback from most delegates was generally positive regarding the quality and subjects of the presentations, the venue and the organisation of the event.

A link to copies of the presentations can be found here.


EU Science and Technology Advisory Group launched by Nick Boley
February 28, 2013, 15:12
Filed under: EU Information | Tags:

The European Union’s newly-formed Science and Technology Advisory Council has held its first meeting in Brussels. The creation of this group follows on from the appointment of the European Commission’s first Chief Scientific Adviser,Professor Anne Glover, in January 2012.

The main aim of the Council is to provide advice directly to the President of the European Commission on how to create the proper environment for innovation by shaping a European society that embraces science, technology and engineering. It differs from other advisory bodies in the Commission in that it does not have a specific subject remit, but tackles issues that are of cross-cutting nature, with a clear societal dimension, and will operate in a proactive way, identifying topics of value and of interest to support future growth and development in Europe.

EU amends Regulation on alcohol denaturing for excise duty exemption by Nick Boley
February 22, 2013, 09:44
Filed under: Customs, EU Information, Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

The European Commission have published a new regulation – Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 162/2013 – which amends the Annex to Regulation (EC) No 3199/93 on the mutual recognition of procedures for the complete denaturing of alcohol for the purposes of exemption from excise duty.

It provides a full list of substances which are authorised for use throughout the European Union for the complete denaturing of alcohol, and confirms that the denaturing procedure to be used in all Member States should consist of a mixture of 3 litres of isopropyl alcohol (IPA), 3 litres of methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and of 1 gram of denatonium benzoate per hectolitre of absolute alcohol.

It also lists additional denaturing procedures which are permitted for use in some individual Member States.

The determination of denaturants according to EU Regulation is undertaken in appropriate laboratories in order to confirm that duty-exempt alcohol is correctly denatured.

UN/WHO Report on EDCs published by Nick Boley
February 21, 2013, 12:11
Filed under: chemicals, Environment/Ecology, Global issues | Tags: ,

A new report “State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs)” has been published jointly by the United Nations (UN) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

A press release has been issued by the United Nationals Environment Programme (UNEP) about the report, and they have also prepared a summary of the report.

The report itself, which runs to some 298 pages, is a comprehensive treatise about endocrine disruption. It lists a number of very common chemicals which are known to have EDC properties incuding a number of pesticides and insecticides such as chlordane, tributyltin oxide, DDT and parathion, and general industrial chemicals such as bisphenol A, nicotine, octylphenol, nonylphenol, PBBs/PBDEs and sodium fluoride.

Although the report concentrates on the effects of EDCs, we must bear in mind that it is necessary to develop and maintain robust and valid analytical methods for identifying and quantifying these chemicals in many matrices.

ChemSec expands Sin List by Nick Boley
February 18, 2013, 13:37
Filed under: chemicals | Tags: ,

The Swedish NGO ChemSec has published version 2.1 of its SIN (Substitute It Now) List.

249 substances have been added to this new version of the SIN List giving a total number of 626 chemicals now listed. The new additions are highly hazardous chemicals in use in a wide range of everyday consumer products, posing a threat to the health of people in Europe and elsewhere, as well as to the environment. They are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction, and ChemSec believe that they should be regulated in the EU. There are currently 138 substances on the REACH Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) list.

ChemSec have issued a Press Release on the update, and the SIN List can be found here.

ECHA Seeks Information on some 700 Substances by Nick Boley
February 12, 2013, 10:32
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA | Tags: ,

ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency, has issued a press release in which it says it is seeking clarification regarding the status of approximately 700 substances which are due to be registered under REACH by 31 May this year. These substances have no lead registrant to take them through the REACH Registration process.

ECHA needs the information in order to ensure that any of these substances which are still traded and used are registered by the MAy 31 deadline so that they can continue to be traded and used. This is particularly important to both downstream users and their suppliers. The list of substances can be found here and contains a number of very commonly used chemicals.

New CEN Publications – January 2013 by Nick Boley
February 8, 2013, 15:33
Filed under: CEN Standards, Environment/Ecology | Tags: , ,

The following new publications from CEN, the European Standards Organisation, of relevance to analytical measurement in support of regulations, are now available:

CEN/TS 16172:2013 – Sludge, treated biowaste and soil – Determination of elements using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GF-AAS). This Technical Specification specifies the determination of trace elements in aqua regia or nitric acid digest solutions of sludge, treated biowaste and soil, using atomic absorption spectrometry with electrothermal atomisation in a graphite furnace. The method is applicable for the determination of the following elements: Arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), lead (Pb), antimony (Sb), thallium (Tl), vanadium (V). This method may be applied to other elements. The lower working range is approximately 0.1 mg/kg to 0.01 mg/kg, depending on the element to be determined.

CEN/TS 16175-1:2013 – Sludge, treated biowaste and soil – Determination of mercury – Part 1: Cold-vapour atomic absorption spectrometry (CV-AAS).

CEN/TS 16175-2:2013 – Sludge, treated biowaste and soil – Determination of mercury – Part 2: Cold-vapour atomic fluorescence spectrometry (CV-AFS). This, and the above document, specifies the methods to be used for the determination of mercury in aqua regia or nitric acid digest solutions of sludge, treated biowaste and soil.

EN 16466-1:2013 – Vinegar – Isotopic analysis of acetic acid and water – Part 1: 2H-NMR analysis of acetic acid
EN 16466-2:2013 – Vinegar – Isotopic analysis of acetic acid and water – Part 2: 13C-IRMS analysis of acetic acid
EN 16466-3:2013 – Vinegar – Isotopic analysis of acetic acid and water – Part 3: 18O-IRMS analysis of water in wine vinegar