EU General Court overturns REACH Restriction by Nick Boley

The EU General Court (Seventh chamber) has published its judgement on the case heard on 27 June 2013, brought by the International Cadmium Association (ICdA), Rockwood Pigments (UK) Ltd and James M Brown Ltd in respect of the restriction under REACH of the use of cadmium in plastics, other than PVC, as detailed in Commission Regulation (EU) No 494/2011.

The judgement of the court is that Commission Regulation (EU) No 494/2011 of 20 May 2011 amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) as regards Annex XVII (Cadmium) in so far as it restricts the use of cadmium sulpho-selenide orange (No CAS 1256-57-4), cadmium sulpho-selenide red (No CAS 58339-34-7) and cadmium zinc sulphide (No CAS 8048‑07-5) in mixtures and articles produced from synthetic organic polymers other than those in respect of which that use was restricted before the adoption of Regulation No 494/2011 be annulled.

The court agreed that there was insufficient evidence that studies showing that cadmium and its compounds can leach from PVC (other than that from mixtures produced from PVC waste, hereinafter referred to as “recovered PVC”, — mixtures and articles containing recovered PVC if their concentration of cadmium (expressed as Cd metal) does not exceed 0.1 % by weight of the plastic material in certain rigid PVC applications), giving rise to environmental risk, could be applied to other polymers which end up in landfill.


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