New REACH Restriction on Chromium (VI) compounds by Nick Boley
March 27, 2014, 15:59
Filed under: chemicals, REACH/CLP | Tags: ,

The European Commission have published a new Regulation, 301/2014, which restricts the use of chromium (VI) compounds in leather goods.

A maximum limit of 3 mg/kg by weight has been implemented.

Recent work funded by the Government Chemist Programme has separated and quantified chromium (VI) in mixtures of chromium compounds using HPLC-ICP-MS/MS. This could be applied to leather goods if an appropriate extraction step can be developed. This work could be funded under the 2014-17 Government Chemist Programme if considered appropriate.


Substance Evaluation Plan Agreed by ECHA by Nick Boley
March 26, 2014, 13:31
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA, REACH/CLP | Tags: ,

The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has agreed with the Member States Committee, the 2014-16 Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) for 2014-16.

The plan details that 120 substances are due to be evaluated by Member States over the 2014-16 period, with 51 alone being evaluated this year. These substances have a suspicion that their manufacture and/or use could pose risks to human health and/or the environment. Some of the more common substances being evaluated in 2014 are:

  • silver
  • t-butyl methyl ether
  • 4 nonylphenol (branched – being evaluated by the UK as a suspected persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) substance.


New REACH tests added to Annex by Nick Boley
March 19, 2014, 11:05
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA, REACH/CLP | Tags: , , ,

The European Commission has published a new Regulation, 260/2014, which amends the REACH Regulation concerning testing of chemicals. The specific tests, for the physicochemical properties of chemicals,  which have been amended or added are:

  • water solubility (equivalent to OECD Test Guideline (TG) 105 (1995)).
  • partition coefficient test method relevant for the persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) assessment – partitioning between water and 1-octanol (equivalent to OECD Test Guideline (TG) 123 (2006)).

These will now be carried out by organisations submitting dossiers under REACH.

New REACH Authorisation application made by Nick Boley
March 18, 2014, 11:11
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA, REACH/CLP | Tags: , ,

A joint application has been made by a consortium of European manufacturers of expanded polystyrene products for the authorisation, under REACH, of hexabromocylodecane (HBCDD).

HBCDD is currently used in expanded polystyrene products used in the building industry as flame retardants, particularly in roofing materials. There is a high demand for supply of such materials at present across Europe due to the need to build more dwellings. The authorisation which has been requested is designed to enable the manufacturers to continue to supply sufficient product to satisfy demand after the “sunset date” (i.e. when HBCDD is banned) of August 2015 until alternative flame retardant substances have been developed for use.


EU supports UK risk assessment on biocidal product by Nick Boley

The European Commission has rejected the refusal of authorisations of biocidal products containing bromadiolone notified by Germany in accordance with Directive 98/8/EC. Bromadiolone is used in products belonging to product-type 14, Rodenticides.

The German authorities objected to the risk assessment carried out by the UK, which comprised the derivation of a dermal absorption value which was considered to resemble more closely the actual exposure conditions for professional users loading wax blocks in bait stations.

This ruling validates the preferred UK approach of risk assessments which take into account the actual pattern of use of any substances requiring assessment, rather than looking solely at the hazardous nature of a substance, which is commonplace in some EU Member States.

New English Regulations on Authorised Fuels in Smoke Control Area by Nick Boley

The UK Government has published new regulations concerning which fuels are authorised for use in smoke control areas. The Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) (England) Regulations 2014.

These regulations list 67 products which are authorised to be used in smoke control areas. These products comprise briquettes and firelogs mainly, all of which have specifications as to their composition. Compositional data includes – across the wide product range – information on anthracite content, petroleum coke content, as well as levels of binders (e.g. phosphoric acid) and sulphur levels.

These products all require accurate validated methods to be used in order to verify their composition in order to confirm compliance with these new Regulations.

European Commission recommends monitoring of food for BFRs by Nick Boley
March 5, 2014, 11:38
Filed under: chemicals, EU Information | Tags:

The European Commission has published a recommendation, 2014/118/EU, which asks Member States to monitor foods for residues of brominated flame retardants (BFRs).

Many brominated flame retardants are persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic to both humans and the environment. They are suspected of causing neurobehavioral effects and endocrine disruption and they have been found in biota in the environment.

This is cause for concern as these highly toxic compounds can easily find their way into the food chain. The classes of compounds covered by this Recommendation are:

  • polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
  • hexabromocyclododecanes (HBCDDs
  • tetrabromobisphenol A and its derivatives
  • brominated phenols and their derivatives
  • emerging and novel brominated flame retardants

This will be a significant challenge for analytical laboratories, as some of the limits set are very low – in the ng/g range in some cases. Valid analytical methods with a low limit of detection must be used, and in some cases these will need to be developed.

A project under the Government Chemist programme looking into measuring some of these compounds at ultra low levels in waters will be carried out later in 2014; we must understand that the challenges in this project will be magnified in carrying out such measurements in complex food matrices.