ECHA recommends 6 new substances for the authorisation list by Nick Boley
June 26, 2013, 14:38
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA | Tags: ,

The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has proposed that a further 6 substances be added to Annex XIV of REACH, also known as the Authorisation List.

The 6 substances are:

  • N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF)
  •  Diazene-1,2-dicarboxamide (C,C’-azodi(formamide)) (ADCA)
  •  Aluminosilicate Refractory Ceramic Fibres (Al-RCF)
  • Zirconia Aluminosilicate Refractory Ceramic Fibres (Zr-RCF)
  • Bis(pentabromophenyl) ether (decabromodiphenyl ether) (DecaBDE)
  •  4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenol, ethoxylated (4-tert-Octylphenol ethoxylates) (4-tert-OPnEO)

ECHA have launched a public consultation on these substances which has a closing date of  23 September. The decision to include DecaBDE and Octylphenol ethoxylates has been particularly welcomed by the Swedish NGO ChemSec.


Oil and Gas Industry release information about fracking chemicals by Nick Boley
June 26, 2013, 10:09
Filed under: Energy, Environment/Ecology | Tags: , ,

The International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) have published information relating to the chemicals used during the fracking process to liberate shale gas. Shale gas is seen by many as an important component of the energy mix in many Western countries, including the UK in the short to medium term, but environmentalists have voiced concerns over the chemicals used in the fracking process which could potentially find their way into public water supplies.

The information published by OGP currently relates to wells in Poland, where shale gas extraction has commenced, but gives a good indication of the types of chemicals which could be used in the UK. For example, the factsheet for the well at Strzeszewo lists the composition of the fracking liquid used in the process. Many of these are very common chemicals at very low concentrations and of limited harm, but they do present a potential challenge to analytical chemists to monitor for their presence in drinking water supplies which could potentially be affected by fracking in the vicinity of wells.


New Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations Published by Nick Boley
June 21, 2013, 08:42
Filed under: Cosmetics, UK Government Information | Tags: ,

The Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013 (S.I. 1473/2013) have been published, and come into force on 11 July 2013.

The regulations are responsible for the enforcement of the EU Cosmetic Regulations (1223/2009). Schedule III of the new Regulations provides significant detail regarding sampling and testing of cosmetic products to ensure compliance, and gives references to the relevant Annexes to European Directives which stipulate the testing methods to be followed for substances in cosmetic products.


ECHA adds 6 new substances to Candidate List by Nick Boley
June 20, 2013, 09:24
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA, REACH/CLP | Tags: ,

The Member States Committee of the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has approved the addition of six further substances to the Candidate List for SVHCs (substances of very high concern).

This brings the total number of substances on the list to 144, and covers substances with quantities totalling over one tonne per producer or importer per year, and present in  articles above a concentration of 0.1% weight by weight. This provides an analytical challenge to laboratories to confirm the 0.1% threshhold.

The six substances added to the list are:

  • Cadmium
  • Cadmium oxide
  • 4-Nonylphenol, branched and linear, ethoxylated
  • Ammonium pentadecafluorooctanoate (APFO)
  • Pentadecafluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Dipentyl phthalate (DPP)

Full details are available on the ECHA website.

Report on Formaldehyde measurements in Melamine-ware published by Nick Boley
June 19, 2013, 14:48
Filed under: Uncategorized

A new report  has been published on the determination of  formaldehyde in food- simulant extracts of melamine-ware by GC-MS and LC-MS in response to a referee case on this topic in 2012. The method developed also has significant potential to be applied to other matrices, such as cosmetics (e.g. hair-straighteneing products).

The report is available on the Government Chemist website here.

Science & Technology Select Committee produce report on water quality by Nick Boley

The UK Parliamentary Science and Technology Select Committee have published their report on Water Quality: Priority Substances.

The Committee took evidence from a wide range of witnesses from all sides of the water industry, regulators, etc. Their report is comprehensive and considered, and addresses many issues which affect the quality of water in the UK. They were particularly concerned with proposed additions to the list of Priority Substances under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD), those chemicals which are considered to pose a specific threat to human and animal (including aquatic species) health, including the pharmaceuticals ethinyl oestradiol (EE2), used in oral contraceptives, oestradiol (E2), used in hormone replacement therapy, and diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory. These three substances are representative of the complexity of this issue, as their use is beneficial to society but pose a hazard to aquatic and, in the case of diclofenac, avian species.

The report highlights these issues, which include costs, innovation and risk assessment. The report does not specifically cover the problems of measurement of these substances in water bodies, necessary where enforcement of regulations may come into play. The recommended maximum levels of some priority substances, particularly the pharmaceuticals, pose significant problems for analytical chemists in measuring these accurately and precisely in a cost-effective manner. Until this issue is properly addressed and any problems solved to an appropriate level, enforcement of regulations pertaining to these substances will be very difficult to achieve on a technical level.

Restriction on 1,4-dichlorobenzene in toilet blocks moves closer by Nick Boley
June 13, 2013, 08:43
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA | Tags: ,

The proposed restriction on the use of 1,4-dichlorobenzene in air fresheners and toilet blocks moved a step closer when the ECHA Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) gave their support to the proposal from ECHA (the European Chemicals Agency).

This will cover air fresheners and toilet blocks for both domestic and professional use. 1,4-dichlorobenzene, which is considered to be carcinogenic, will be restricted above a concentration limit of 1%. ECHA will move to implement regulation within 3 months, and a 12 month transitional period, will apply.