New Report published on Quantitative Chromium Species Measurement by Nick Boley

A new report has been published under the Government Chemist’s Advisory Function which demonstrates a method for the quantitative determination of chromium species in clean and effluent waters.

Chromium (VI) is a significantly more toxic species than other chromium species (particularly the more common Chromium (III)) and difficulties in determining it accurately in environmental matrices has long been problematical. The method involved was ion pair/chelation reversed phase HPLC-ICPMS, and represents an excellent piece of work which demonstrates this technique and opens doors for the measurement of other species and chromium species in other matrices.

The work was carried out by John Entwisle and Heidi Goenaga-Infante in LGC Science & Technology’s Specialist Inorganic Analysis Team. The report is can be found on the Government Chemist website.


Report on Nanoparticles Measurement available on GC Website by Nick Boley
October 25, 2013, 09:22
Filed under: Government Chemist Information, Nanomaterials | Tags: ,

A report entitled “Physicochemical characterisation of silica nanoparticles in complex food matrices” has been published on the Government Chemist website.

The report looks into the methodology available to measure nanoparticles in support of the proposed EU definition of a nanoparticle, which may be adopted as a regulation in 2014.

The work was carried out at LGC by Chun Yin Lee, as part of his MSc project at the University  of Loughborough, and funded by the Government Chemist under the micro-funded studies project within the GC Advisory Function.





Consultation Responses from the Government Chemist 3rd Quarter 2013 by Nick Boley
October 24, 2013, 16:31
Filed under: Government Chemist Information

The Government Chemist responded to five consultations during July, August and September 2013. Details of the responses can be found here on the Government Chemist website.

The consultations covered:

  • Energy & Climate Change Select Committee: Carbon Capture and Storage Enquiry
  • BIS: Proposals for 2 New European Regulations aimed at improving Consumer Product Safety and the Functioning of the European Internal Market through effective market surveillance
  • DfT: Regulations to specify the drugs and corresponding limits for the new
    offence of driving with a specified controlled drug in the body above the
    specified limit – A Consultation Document
  • Defra Consultation: Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks – Call for Evidence
  • FSA: The Approval of Establishments Producing and Processing Certain Fats and Oils, and the Testing of Fats and Oils of Vegetable and Marine Origin for Dioxins and Dioxin-Like PCBs



New Report on assessment of petroleum products for REACH by Nick Boley
October 24, 2013, 12:42
Filed under: chemicals, REACH/CLP | Tags: , , ,

A report has been published on the methodologies employed in the environmental risk assessment of petroleum substances. This report, commissioned by ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency, has been produced by scientists at the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and discusses the scientific validity and the general applicability of the models currently available for predicting the environmental hazards, environmental exposure and subsequently the environmental risks (including risk to humans indirectly exposed via the environment) associated with petroleum hydrocarbons in the context of REACH registrations.

One theme of the report covers the measurements made in order to classify petroleum products, and to determine their detailed composition in terms of specific groups of organic compounds (alkanes, branch-chain alkanes, alkenes, cycloalkanes, etc.).  The ability to gain knowledge of the composition of petroleum products is very important in order to understand their environmental fate and interaction, and is therefore fundamental in underpinning our knowledge of these products and their risk to the environment and ourselves.

Parabens in cosmetics ban to come in by Nick Boley
October 16, 2013, 09:23
Filed under: chemicals, Cosmetics, EU Regulation/Legislation | Tags: , ,

The EU has notified the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that it intends to ban five less commonly used parabens (isopropyl-, isobutyl, pentyl- and benzyl esters of 4-hydroxybenzoic and their salts) which have been used as preservatives in cosmetic products. Although these 5 substances are not used to any great extent today, the proposed ban marks a change in the way the EU regards the subject of parabens (considered to be endocrine disrupters)  and their safety.

Additionally, the EU has given notice of its intention to reduce the levels of two further, more commonly-used parabens, butyl-and propylparaben, and to completely prohibit their use in leave-on cosmetics designed for application in the nappy area and in cosmetics intended for children under three years of age. This reflects the move from Denmark in 2011 to completely ban the use of butyl- and propylparabens in all products aimed at children.

Parabens can be determined in cosmetic products by HPLC.

An EU public consultation on the use of butyl- and propylparabens in cosmetics is open until 1 November 2013.

Updates to Active Substance Approvals from CRD by Nick Boley
October 16, 2013, 08:55
Filed under: Plant Protection | Tags: ,

The Health and Safety Executive’s Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) has published a list of active substances approvals for use as plant protection products granted on 3 October 2013 under Commission Regulation (EC) 1107/2009.

The list covers the following substances, for which testing could be required in plants and soil:

  • Benalaxyl-M
  • Chlorantraniliprole
  • Orange oil
  • Penthiopyrad
  • Pyroxsulam
  • Spirotetramat
  • Sodium silver thiosulphate
  • Tembotrione

Business Taskforce report on cutting EU Red Tape – measurement aspects by Nick Boley

The report from the Business Taskforce “Cut EU red tape”, commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron, has been published today.

The report forms the basis of those areas where both the Prime Minister and British business wish to see EU Regulations reduced or removed where they are considered to place to significant a burden on business. There are points covering 30 key headings in the report, some of them having a distinct analytical measurement dimension. These can be summarised as:

  1. Excessive rules on country of origin labelling for food. The example quoted covers the labelling of meat and meat products. These are areas which have been of interest following the horsemeat scandal, and where analytical measurements may have a part to play.
  2. Unnecessary proposals on soils. This covers the Soil Framework Directive and the burdens for farmers and small landowners to comply including issues with redevelopment of brownfield sites. Contaminated land sites do frequently require extensive analytical testing to check levels of toxic contaminants prior to remediation and/or redevelopment.
  3. Costly and complex chemicals regulation. This mainly covers REACH, and in particular notes the 2018 registration deadline for chemicals in quantities under 100 tonnes, which will have a disproportionate effect on SMEs, and need to be implemented more simply and cost-effectively.  Some of the ideas put forward, including Issuing clear guidance on fair cost-sharing with SMEs and other experts, providing simplified guidance, focusing on those areas which SMEs find most difficult to interpret, listing known authorisation consortia (for specific substances) on the ECHA website,and producing a worked example of what an ‘authorisation dossier’ would look like, so companies have a better idea of what is required, have already been widely discussed in the UK, and do have some support across the EU and in the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).