Bisphenol A levels in toys reduced by Nick Boley
June 25, 2014, 15:39
Filed under: EU Regulation/Legislation, Toys, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

The European Commission has announced that the permitted levels of bisphenol A in toys is reduced to 1 mg/L (migration limit). This covers toys which are intended to be placed in a child’s mouth.

Bisphenol A is strongly suspected of being an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC). This reduction places increased responsibility on analytical measurement laboratories to be able to detect and quantify accurately bisphenol A in toys in order to assist in effective enforcement.



Silver nanoparticles – EU easy-to-read summary published by Nick Boley
June 24, 2014, 15:32
Filed under: EU Information, Nanomaterials | Tags: ,

The EU has published an easy-to-read factsheet about silver nanoparticles. This gives a layman’s guide to the uses of silver nanoparticles, and their possible toxicity to both humans and the environment.

Silver nanoparticles have significant antimicrobial resistance and therefore can be used in lower doses than other antimicrobials. The document points out, correctly, that nanoparticulate silver is only a small proportion of total silver in the environment. As developments in assessing the toxicity of nanosilver and ionic silver are made, it may become more important to discriminate between the 2 forms of silver in the environment, which will require significant input from analytical chemistry to develop appropriate methods.


Environment Agency publishes sampling and testing guidelines for landfill by Nick Boley
June 24, 2014, 13:33
Filed under: Environment/Ecology, UK Government Information, Waste | Tags: , ,

The Environment Agency has published a guidance document entitled “Waste Sampling and Testing for Disposal to Landfill”. This document is designed to assist waste process operators on how to classify waste products which are intended for landfill, detailing how to apply Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) in assessing landfill-bound wastes. WAC limits cover:

  • Total concentration limits for the organic components and pH; and
  • Leachable components

Sampling plans should be prepared to comply with national and European standards (e.g. BS EN 14899:2005 Characterisation of waste – Sampling of waste materials – Framework for preparation of a sampling plan). Leaching tests must be carried out according to BS EN 12457-2:2002 “Characterisation of waste – Leaching – Compliance test for leaching of granular waste materials and sludges – Part 2 One stage batch test at a liquid to solid ratio of 10 l/kg for materials with high solid content and with particle size below 4mm (without or with size reduction).” Leaching tests are usually – but not always – carried out by an analytical laboratory.

The document gives a list of parameters which should be tested for, and their limits. Waste process operators would normally send samples and/or leachates to specialist laboratories to determine whether any of these contaminants are present and, if so, at what levels. It is expected that any laboratory carrying out such measurements would be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025 for the measurements concerned, use appropriate Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) and can demonstrate good performance in an appropriate proficiency testing (PT) scheme.



ECHA adds 4 more substances to the candidate list by Nick Boley
June 23, 2014, 15:33
Filed under: chemicals, ECHA, REACH/CLP | Tags: , ,

The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has announced that a further four chemicals have been added to the candidate list of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) to be potentially restricted under the REACH regulations.

The seven chemicals are:

  • Cadmium chloride
  • 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, dihexyl ester, branched and linear
  • Sodium peroxometaborate
  • Sodium perborate; perboric acid, sodium salt

The proposed restriction applies to the chemicals themselves plus articles containing them at a concentration above 0.1%, if traded in sufficient quantity.

1st REACH Restriction on environmental grounds agreed by Nick Boley
June 23, 2014, 14:23
Filed under: Environment/Ecology, EU Information, REACH/CLP | Tags: , ,

The Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) of ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency, has agreed that nonylphenol (NP and nonylphenyl ethoxylate (NPE) be subject to restriction. The restriction covers placing on the market of washable textile clothing, fabric accessories and interior textile articles, containing the chemicals. It aims to address the risks associated with them ending up in water, through washing. The concentrations which are subsequently measured in waste water are the cause for considerable concern for the potential environmental damage they can cause. This is the first time a restriction has been agreed on environmental grounds.

The Committee have also agreed that N-Methyl pyrrolidone should also be subjected to restriction. This chemical is of concern for workplace exposure, and has specific health risks for female workers. It is also one component of the well-known “new-car” smell.


New Commission Regulation on dioxins and PCBs in foodstuffs by Nick Boley
June 4, 2014, 11:30
Filed under: EU Regulation/Legislation, Food and Feed | Tags: , , , , ,

The European Commission has published a new Regulation (589/2014) which lays down methods of sampling and analysis for the control of levels of dioxins, dioxin-like PCBs and non-dioxin-like PCBs in certain foodstuffs. It also repeals the former Regulation, 252/2012.

The new regulation supports Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 which states maximum levels for non-dioxin-like PCBs, dioxins and furans and for the sum of dioxins, furans and dioxin-like PCBs in certain foodstuffs. It provides detailed sampling protocols for foodstuffs suspected of containing dioxins and PCBs, as well as up-to-date analytical methods to be used both for screening and confirmatory analysis of these highly toxic compounds.

The new methodologies take into account recent advances in analytical measurement technology and quality assurance, and stipulates the performance characteristics of any laboratory method to be used for these measurements.