Further Restrictions on Hair Dyes in the EU by Nick Boley
May 30, 2013, 09:47
Filed under: Cosmetics, EU Information, Global issues | Tags:

The European Union is planning to restrict a further 22 hair dyes from use in line with a notification document sent to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Annex III of the EU Cosmetics Regulations will be amended to include these further 22 substances, and the Annex will also be amended to include 10 hair dye substances and hydrogen peroxide authorised for use in products intended for colouring eyelashes under strict use conditions and obligatory warnings, such as “for professional use only”.

The proposal, Commission Regulation 483/2013 of 24 May 2013, states that benzyl alcohol will have to be indicated in the list of a cosmetics product’s ingredients when its concentration exceeds 0.001% in leave-on products and 0.01% in rinse-off products.


Progress Report on Alternative Methods to Animal Testing Published by Nick Boley
May 30, 2013, 09:32
Filed under: chemicals, Cosmetics, EU Research | Tags: ,

A progress report on the development, validation and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods to animal testing for the assessment of toxicity of cosmetics has been published by the  Joint Research Centre’s European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM).  

This report highlights progress on the availability of methods with the potential to address toxicological properties of particular relevance to the safety assessment of cosmetic ingredients.

Laboratories are continuing to develop new testing methods which negate the need to use animals, which is necessary following the complete marketing ban came into force concerning cosmetics products which contain ingredients tested on animals after 11 March 2013. These methods are also valuable if they can be applied to other substances which may be restricted or controlled under other Regulations, such as REACH.

ECHA Published Public Consultation on 5-Year Plan by Nick Boley
May 28, 2013, 11:37
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA | Tags: , , , ,

The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has published its draft 5-year plan and is inviting comments on it in the form of a public consultation on its Multi-Annual Work Programme for 2014-2018. Responses to the consultation are welcomed.

ECHA are responsible for REACH, CLP, Biocides and PIC (legislation controlling the import and export of chemicals covered under the international Rotterdam Convention on dangerous chemicals).

ECHA have noted, correctly, that the information they gather and disseminate on chemicals is only as good as that provided by industry. One of the major issues of note is of poor substance identity – this is a measurement issue and the ability to unambiguously identify a substance underpins the whole registration and enforcement process. Clearly this is an area where progress still needs to be made.

Leading scientists express concern over EU Endocrine Disrupter proposals by Nick Boley
May 24, 2013, 14:50
Filed under: Environment/Ecology | Tags: ,

Over 80 leading scientists in the field of public health have expressed their concern over the European Union’s stance on endocrine disrupting chemicals (ECDs). They consider the proposals put forwards by some  States for the regulation of EDCs to be inadequate and not based on sound scientific principles. Citing the increase in cancers of the prostate, testes, ovaries and thyroid across the EU they have urged the European Commission to act and introduce an appropriately strong regime to regulate EDCs.

The scientists have signed the Berlaymont Declaration on Endocrine Disrupters, which states their position in more detail, and have also issued a press release through the University of Brunel, Uxbridge, London. The stance of this group is in contrast to the view favoured by the UK Government, which does not support the blanket use of the “precautionary principle” and instead wishes to see balanced and strong evidence for taking regulatory action against potentially toxic substances.

One area which is of interest is the group’s call for better validated laboratory testing procedures for identifying endocrine disrupting effects. With a move away from animal testing, this is an area which needs further research and development to provide the evidence necessary to drive regulation.

Government Chemist Review 2012 Published by Nick Boley
May 17, 2013, 10:20
Filed under: Government Chemist Information | Tags:

The 2012 Government Chemist Review was published on 16 May. The review covers the work of the Government Chemist in the calendar year 2012, highlighting the referee cases carried out under the Government Chemist’s Statutory function, the research and development carried out in support of the GC function, as well as the work undertaken as part of the Government Chemist’s Advisory function.

The review is available as a download from the Government Chemist website here.

HBCDD set for universal ban by Nick Boley

The brominated flame retardant, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) is set to be banned from use across the globe. HBCDD is a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic  (PBT) compound and will become the 23rd compound to find its way onto Annex A of the Stockholm Convention.

Under REACH, HBCDD will become an authorised substance from August 2015.


New edition of HMRC Notice 179 on Motor and Heating Oils Published by Nick Boley
May 10, 2013, 11:24
Filed under: Customs | Tags:

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, HMRC, have published a revision of Notice 179, Motor & Heating fuels: General information and accounting for Excise Duty & VAT. (May 2013)

This replaces the previous version of this notice (March 2013). The changes to the Notice include amendments to Annex B which covers testing methods for fuels.