EFSA report defines scientific criteria for endocrine disrupters by Nick Boley
March 26, 2013, 16:24
Filed under: chemicals, EU Information | Tags: ,

The European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, has published a scientific opinion on the hazard assessment of endocrine disrupters (EDCs). EDCs work on 4 established endocrine pathways in organisms to disrupt the endocrine system.

There is no single test to establish if a substance is an endocrine disrupter, so testing needs to be carried out in a systematic manner in order to establish whether a substance is an EDC. EFSA is particularly concerned with EDCs which may be present in the food chain, e.g. pesticides.

EFSA has concluded that a risk assessment approach which considers both potential adverse effects of endocrine active substances together with the likelihood of exposure makes best use of available information to regulate their use.

The full report is available here.


Fake medicines – action taken by Nick Boley
March 18, 2013, 12:46
Filed under: pharmaceuticals | Tags: , ,

Interpol and pharmaceutical companies are taking action together to face down the problem of counterfeit medicines.

The problem of counterfeit medicines being so readily available is truly international in scale, and in some developing countries as much as 50% of all medicines purchased are counterfeit. Counterfeit products not only lack the active ingredients they need to be effective, some actually contain substances which are positively injurious to human health.

Testing of suspected counterfeit medicines is important in this fight; it can be relatively straightforward to determine the level of active ingredients in a pharmaceutical product, but to determine what else may be present in a fake medicine requires more extensive work.

4-methylamphetamine to be subject to control measures by Nick Boley
March 15, 2013, 10:27
Filed under: chemicals, EU Information, Forensics | Tags: ,

The European Union has decided that the substance 4-methylamphetamine, used illicitly as a stimulant drug, shall be subject to control measures. Commission Decision 2013/129/EU details the case for this.

Although research into the risks of taking this substance are limited there are clear indications of a number of adverse effects to users. There have been a number of deaths across the EU where post-mortems have indicated that 4-methylamphetamine may have been a contributory factor.


Marketing ban on cosmetics subject to animal testing comes into force by Nick Boley
March 11, 2013, 17:07
Filed under: Cosmetics, EU Information | Tags: ,

The ban on the marketing of cosmetics, and cosmetic ingredients, which have been subject to animal testing as part of their safety assessment, came into force today, 13 March 2013. A question and answer document from the European Commission can be found here on the subject.

Significant work is being carried out to develop and validate alternative testing methods for cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients which do not involve animal testing.

New Government Chemist report on Chromium speciation published by Nick Boley

A new report has been published on the Government Chemist website on qualitative determination of chromium species by liquid chromatography- inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LC-ICPMS). This follows on from similar work undertaken on arsenic species in 2010 and 2012.

The method can separate, and potentially quantify, chromium species including Cr (III) and the more toxic Cr (VI) and has the potential to be used in environmental testing, food testing and cosmetics testing.

New ECHA Consultation on SVHCs by Nick Boley
March 6, 2013, 12:44
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA | Tags: ,

The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has launched a consultation to identify a further 10 chemicals as substances of very high concern (SVHCs).

ECHA are seeking comments and information relating to the use of these substances and the amount manufactured in the EU. The information will help decide whether any of these substances will be included in the Candidate List of SVHCs in future. The substances covered by this consultation are:

  • Cadmium
  • Cadmium oxide
  • Dipentyl phthalate (DPP)
  • 4-Nonylphenol, branched and linear, ethoxylated
  • 2-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4-(tert-butyl)-6-(sec-butyl)phenol (UV-350)
  • 2-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4,6-ditertpentylphenol (UV-328)
  • 2,4-di-tert-butyl-6-(5-chlorobenzotriazol-2-yl)phenol (UV-327)
  • 2-benzotriazol-2-yl-4,6-di-tert-butylphenol (UV-320)
  • Ammonium pentadecafluorooctanoate (APFO), and
  • Pentadecafluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)

New CEN Publications – February 2013 by Nick Boley
March 6, 2013, 12:36
Filed under: CEN Standards | Tags: , , ,

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

EN ISO 23640:2013 – In vitro diagnostic medical devices – Evaluation of stability of in vitro diagnostic reagents (ISO 23640:2011). This is in support of the EU IVD Directive.

CEN/TR 10317:2013 – European certified reference materials (EURONORM-CRMs) for the determination of the chemical composition of iron and steel products prepared under the auspices of the European Committee for Iron and Steel Standardization (ECISS).

CEN/TR 10261:2013 – Iron and steel: European standards for the determination of chemical composition. This is linked to the CRM technical report listed above.

CEN/TR 10350:2013 – Analysis of steels and irons: Internal laboratory procedure for checking the accuracy of an analytical method by using Certified Reference Materials. This is also linked to the two technical reports listed above.

EN 16143:2013 – Petroleum products: Determination of content of Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP) and selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in extender oils – Procedure using double LC cleaning and GC/MS analysis. There are moves within the EU for a restriction under REACH on PAHs, which makes their accurate determination in a range of products very important.

EN 71-4:2013 – Safety of toys – Part 4: Experimental sets for chemistry and related activities.