ALDI joins list of companies signed up to Greenpeace detox commitment by Nick Boley
April 15, 2015, 10:11
Filed under: chemicals, Toxicology | Tags: , , ,

ALDI has become the latest company to sign up to Greenpeace’s Detox Commitment. As a consequence they will ensure that a raft of toxic chemicals will be eliminated from all their textile products, and that full consumer information on this will be available. The company joins other discount retailers such as LiDL in signing up to the Detox Commitment. The chemicals which are covered by this ban are:

  • alkylphenols;
  • phthalates;
  • brominated and chlorinated flame retardants;
  • azo dyes;
  • organotin compounds;
  • perfluorinated chemicals;
  • chlorobenzenes;
  • chlorinated solvents;
  • chlorophenols;
  • short-chain chlorinated paraffins; and
  • heavy metals (cadmium, lead, mercury and chromium (VI))

This will place the onus on ALDI’s suppliers to ensure these chemicals, already shown by Greenpeace to be toxic and present in many widely-traded products, are no longer present, which will involve further analytical testing to confirm their absence. Analytical methods used for such testing would need to be sensitive as the levels of these chemicals can be very low, and they can have toxic effects even at very low concentrations.


Chromium (VI) levels in toys set to be lowered by Nick Boley
February 12, 2015, 10:58
Filed under: EU Information, Toxicology, Toys | Tags: , ,

The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) has proposed that the levels of  Chromium (VI) available by migration from toys be further lowered.

The proposed values are:

  • 0.0094 mg/kg for scraped-off toy materials;
  • 0.0008 mg/kg for dry, (powder-like or pliable) toy materials; and
  • 0.0002 mg/kg for liquid or sticky toy materials

These values are extremely low, and are in fact below the levels at which chromium (VI) can be measured in the laboratory. Chromium (VI) is a very difficult species to measure, and it is only in recent years that methods capable of separating the more toxic hexavalent form from the more common trivalent form have been developed.
There is a school of thought that instituting a limit value below that which can be measured should not happen and that it would be more sensible to have a limit value equivalent to the best available limit of quantification (LOQ), which can of course be lowered as advances in measurement capability develop.

UK one of the highest spenders in the EU on alternatives to animal testing by Nick Boley
February 6, 2014, 10:32
Filed under: EU Information, Toxicology | Tags: ,

A recent survey carried out by the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) has shown that the amount of funding from EU member states to develop alternative testing procedures for toxicity testing of substances, in response to the implementation of  the directive to protect animals used for scientific purposes (Directive 2010/63/EU), which came into force in January 2013.

The UK provided the most funding – over €11m in 2013 – but many EU member states provided no funding at all.

There is an excellent opportunity for laboratory organisations to develop and validate new in vitro assays for toxicity testing in order to assure compliance with Directive 2010/63, and to protect animals.