The REACH Comitology Committee has decided at its recent meeting to permit the importation of three toxic chemicals into the European Union under certain conditions.
Under the EU Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation, the following chemicals have now been approved for importation under the conditions stated:
- Octabromodiphenyl ether (Including hexa- and heptabromodiphenyl ethers), where they are an unintentional trace contaminant in substances, preparations or articles and in concentrations less than 10mg/kg. The production, placing on the market and use of preparations containing concentrations below 0.1% of hexa- or heptabromodiphenyl ether by weight, when produced partially, or fully, from recycled materials or materials from waste prepared for re-use, is also allowed.
- Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorooctane sulfonates, sulfonamides and sulfonyls (PFOS) where they occur as an unintentional trace contaminant in substances, preparations or articles, provided that the concentration is less than 10mg/kg. Their import is also allowed when the concentration in semi-finished products or articles is lower than 0.1% by weight, calculated with reference to the mass of structurally or micro-structurally distinct parts that contain PFOS; or for textiles or other coated materials, if the amount of PFOS is lower than 1μg/m2 of the coated material.
- Similarly to Octabromodiphenyl ether above, penta- and tetrabromodiphenyl ether are allowed into the EU if they occur as an unintentional trace contaminant in substances, preparations or articles in concentrations less than 10mg/kg.
This will be published in the Official Journal subsequently, and it will require laboratories to be able to measure these substances at the levels specified accurately in order to fully and effectively police enforcement. Measurement of, in particular, the family of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) is challenging for laboratories, and this further illustrates the need to develop appropriate Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) to assist laboratories in validating their procedures for determining these toxic chemicals in the types of matrix where they occur as contaminants.
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