Science & Technology Select Committee published report on Forensic Science Provision by Nick Boley
July 25, 2013, 15:47
Filed under: Forensics | Tags: , ,

The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee has published today (25 July) its report on Forensic Science. The report is a comprehensive follow-up to the Committee’s previous report on the subject of the closure of the Forensic Science Service (FSS).

The report examines in considerable detail the consequences of the closure of the Forensic Science Service, and how the market for forensic science in the UK has subsequently developed. Evidence was taken from a wide variety of witnesses, including senior police figures, senior forensic scientists, the Forensic Science Regulator (Andrew Rennison) and leading CPS lawyers.

The Committee had a number of major concerns about the current state-of-play in the Forensic Science market. They were concerned that the fragmentation of the service required by a number of police forces meant that tests may be carried out on an individual case by 2 or more providers, with a possible lack of some sort of scientific oversight or co-ordination. Their major concern, however, centres on the increasing volume of forensic work being carried out in-house in police forensic laboratories. These laboratories are to date, unlike private forensic science laboratories, not accredited to ISO/IEC 17025, which will give them both a potential cost advantage whilst offering less guarantees about the quality of their scientific provision.

The full report is well worth a read.


Cosmetics Regulations Guidelines published and notified to WTO by Nick Boley
July 25, 2013, 09:08
Filed under: Cosmetics, EU Information, EU Regulation/Legislation | Tags:

The EU has notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of the publication of the guidelines to the revised Annex I of the Cosmetics Regulations (1223/2009/EC). The Annex and associated guidelines came into force on 11 July and are aimed at helping companies understand their obligations under Annex I.

The guidelines highlight the need to state the exact qualitative and quantitative composition of any cosmetic product, as well as listing the physico-chemical properties of the product, being made available in the EU market. This requires manufacturers and/or importers to ensure that, where necessary, products are subject to high quality, accurate analysis to ensure this information is provided. This includes information on the purity of ingredients and using the correct nomenclature for each ingredient. Packaging is also covered, with respect to the migration of substances from packaging to give unintended contaminants in the product, and these need also be determined.

Overall, these guidelines provide comprehensive and detailed information on the requirements, including quite specifically the measurement requirements, covering cosmetic products now.

ECHA Guidance on Biocides Published by Nick Boley
July 22, 2013, 10:44
Filed under: Biocides, ECHA | Tags: ,

The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has published guidance documents to assist companies in complying the the Biocides Product Regulations (BPR).

The specific guidance is very detailed and covers such measurement-specific topics as substance identity (correct identification and nomenclature) and methods used for determining chemical and physical properties. These methods include spectroscopic data, particle size distribution, viscosity, solubility, the identification of impurities or by-products and an accurate measurement of the concentration of the active substance in the product, where the results of measurements of 5 representative production batches are required.

The guidance covers both active substances within the product and the biocidal product itself.

The UK Competent Authority, the Chemicals Regulatory Directorate (CRD) of the HSE, are holding 2 workshops on 22 and 24 October on Biocides Requirements under Regulation 528/2012.

New Regulation amends EU Toy Directive by Nick Boley
July 18, 2013, 08:27
Filed under: EU Regulation/Legislation | Tags:

The European Commission have published a new Regulation (681/2013) which amends the EU Toy Directive (2009/48/EC).

This Regulation changes the maximum permitted levels of barium in toys as follows:

1500 mg/kg in dry, brittle, power-like or pliable toy material
375 mg/kg in liquid or sticky toy material
18750 mg/kg in scraped-off toy material

Although laboratories in the EU will need to be able to measure at these new levels, this should not cause any issues due to the still relatively high levels in the new Regulation.


EU proposes more action on bee health issue by Nick Boley
July 17, 2013, 10:04
Filed under: EU Information | Tags: ,

The European Commission has proposed a restriction on the use of a further pesticide, fipronil ((RS)-5-amino-1-[2,6-dichloro-4-(trifluoromethyl)phenyl]-4-(trifluoromethylsulfinyl)-1H-pyrazole-3-carbonitrile) as it is considered to be a risk to honey bees. This proposal has been agreed by Member State experts from the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.
This is a further measure to try and stem the decline in European bee populations.

GC Seminar 2014 details by Nick Boley
July 12, 2013, 12:46
Filed under: Government Chemist Information | Tags:

The Government Chemist Advisory Function seminar for 2014 will be held on Thursday 20 February 2014 at the Thistle Hotel, Aberdeen Airport.

Regulatory Enforcement – Measurement Issues for the Oil Industry”.

We now have a confirmed programme with speakers from DECC, SEPA, HSE, Intertek, TUV-NEL and the Government Chemist.

There are still some spaces available; if you want to attend please respond to this blog post or email me at

EU Cosmetics Regulation comes into force today by Nick Boley
July 11, 2013, 11:21
Filed under: Cosmetics, EU Regulation/Legislation | Tags: , ,

The EU Cosmetic Products Regulation comes into force today, 11 July. Although published originally in 2009, today’s implementation date reflects the work needed in transition to the new Regulation for all parties concerned. The Commission’s Press Release on the subject can be found here.

One aspect of note in the new Regulation concerns nanoparticles. Colorants, preservatives and UV-filters, including those that are nanomaterials, must be now explicitly authorised.  Nanomaterials must be labelled in the list of ingredients with the word ‘nano’ in brackets following the name of the substance, e.g. “titanium dioxide (nano)”. This, of course, provides a challenge for laboratories to be able to identify nanoparticles in cosmetic products, within the Commission’s own recommended definition of a nanoparticle, as well as identifying other authorised substances to check compliance of products with the new Regulation.