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22.06.2022

Dr Sharon McGuinness selected as ECHA’s new Executive Director

The Management Board of the European Chemicals Agency has selected Dr Sharon McGuinness as ECHA’s next Executive Director. As part of the appointment procedure, she will make a statement before the European Parliament and answer questions from its members. This is tentatively scheduled for 4 July 2022.

Dr Sharon McGuinness, an Irish national, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) in Ireland since 2018. Prior to this, she was the Assistant Chief Executive for the Chemicals and Prevention Division within the Authority, with responsibility for division management, policy provision, advice and enforcement for a wide range of occupational health and safety, chemical and market surveillance legislation aimed at protecting human health and safety for workers and consumers.

She was a member of ECHA’s Management Board between 2014-2020 and Chair of the Board between 2016-2020. She graduated from the University College Dublin with a B.Sc. (Hons) in pharmacology and chemistry, and she holds a PhD in pharmacology, as well as diplomas in Legal Studies and Company Direction.

The Management Board of the European Chemicals Agency has selected Dr Sharon McGuinness as ECHA’s next Executive Director. As part of the appointment procedure, she will make a statement before the European Parliament and answer questions from its members. This is tentatively scheduled for 4 July 2022.

Dr Sharon McGuinness, an Irish national, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) in Ireland since 2018. Prior to this, she was the Assistant Chief Executive for the Chemicals and Prevention Division within the Authority, with responsibility for division management, policy provision, advice and enforcement for a wide range of occupational health and safety, chemical and market surveillance legislation aimed at protecting human health and safety for workers and consumers.

She was a member of ECHA’s Management Board between 2014-2020 and Chair of the Board between 2016-2020. She graduated from the University College Dublin with a B.Sc. (Hons) in pharmacology and chemistry, and she holds a PhD in pharmacology, as well as diplomas in Legal Studies and Company Direction.

Dr McGuinness was one of the candidates preselected by the European Commission after an open competition and interviewed by the Management Board for the post.

Her selection follows that of Bjorn Hansen who retired in March 2022. Since 1 April 2022, Shay O’Malley has been ECHA’s acting Executive Director.

The term of office of the Executive Director is five years. It may be prolonged by the Management Board once, for a further term of five years.

More information:
ECHA Dr Sharon McGuinness
Source:

ECHA

09.12.2021

ECHA: Scientific committees support further restrictions of PFAS

The Committees for Risk Assessment and Socio-Economic Analysis support Germany’s proposal to restrict the use of undecafluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) and related substances. The potential restriction is expected to reduce further environmental and human exposure to these chemicals resulting mainly from uses in food contact materials, textiles and fire-fighting foams.

The Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) has adopted its final opinion on Germany’s proposal to restrict undecafluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), its salts and related substances. This follows an earlier opinion by the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) in June 2021 to restrict these substances that are very persistent and mobile in the environment and can damage the human reproductive system.

RAC supported the proposed restriction for uses where it is not possible to minimise emissions through other means, especially for consumer uses in food contact materials and textiles as well as for fire-fighting foams used by municipal fire departments and at home.

The Committees for Risk Assessment and Socio-Economic Analysis support Germany’s proposal to restrict the use of undecafluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA) and related substances. The potential restriction is expected to reduce further environmental and human exposure to these chemicals resulting mainly from uses in food contact materials, textiles and fire-fighting foams.

The Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) has adopted its final opinion on Germany’s proposal to restrict undecafluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), its salts and related substances. This follows an earlier opinion by the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) in June 2021 to restrict these substances that are very persistent and mobile in the environment and can damage the human reproductive system.

RAC supported the proposed restriction for uses where it is not possible to minimise emissions through other means, especially for consumer uses in food contact materials and textiles as well as for fire-fighting foams used by municipal fire departments and at home.

SEAC considers that a restriction of PFHxA is, in general, an appropriate measure to address the identified risks and to ensure a consistent level of protection for people and the environment across the EU. However, while SEAC concluded that a restriction on certain uses was likely to be proportionate (e.g. textiles in consumer apparel, paper and cardboard in food contact materials and cosmetic products), uncertainties in the available information prevented SEAC from concluding that the proposed restriction as a whole was the most appropriate means to address the identified risk.

During their meetings, SEAC also adopted its opinion on the French proposal to restrict substances in single-use baby diapers, and RAC adopted 11 opinions on harmonised classification and labelling. In addition, RAC and SEAC adopted an opinion on an application for authorisation on the use of chromium trioxide and sodium dichromate for passivation of electrolytic tinplate, and RAC agreed on six and SEAC on five draft opinions on applications for authorisation mostly on electroplating uses of chromium (VI) substances. More about these and other topics can be found in the annex.

More information:
ECHA
Source:

ECHA

08.07.2021

ECHA: Candidate List updated with eight hazardous chemicals

Some of the newly added substances are used in consumer products such as cosmetics, scented articles, rubber and textiles. Others are used as solvents, flame retardants or to manufacture plastics products. Most have been added to the Candidate List because they are hazardous to human health as they are toxic for reproduction, carcinogenic, respiratory sensitisers or endocrine disruptors.

Companies must follow their legal obligations and ensure the safe use of these chemicals. They also have to notify ECHA under the Waste Framework Directive if their products contain substances of very high concern. This notification is submitted to ECHA’s SCIP database and the information will later be published on the Agency’s website.

Some of the newly added substances are used in consumer products such as cosmetics, scented articles, rubber and textiles. Others are used as solvents, flame retardants or to manufacture plastics products. Most have been added to the Candidate List because they are hazardous to human health as they are toxic for reproduction, carcinogenic, respiratory sensitisers or endocrine disruptors.

Companies must follow their legal obligations and ensure the safe use of these chemicals. They also have to notify ECHA under the Waste Framework Directive if their products contain substances of very high concern. This notification is submitted to ECHA’s SCIP database and the information will later be published on the Agency’s website.

Background
The Candidate List includes substances of very high concern that may have serious effects on our health or the environment. These substances may be placed on the Authorisation List in the future, which means that companies would need to apply for permission to continue using them. The Candidate List has now 219 entries – some of these cover groups of chemicals so the overall number of impacted chemicals is higher.
 
Under the REACH Regulation, companies may have legal obligations when their substance is included – either on its own, in mixtures or in articles – in the Candidate List. Any supplier of articles containing a Candidate List substance above a concentration of 0.1 % weight by weight has to give sufficient information to their customers and consumers to allow safe use.
 
Importers and producers of articles containing a Candidate List substance have six months from the date of its inclusion in the list (8 July 2021) to notify ECHA. Suppliers of substances on the Candidate List (supplied either on their own or in mixtures) have to provide their customers with a safety data sheet.
 
As of 5 January 2021, suppliers of articles on the EU market containing Candidate List substances in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight must notify these articles to ECHA’s SCIP database. This duty comes from the Waste Framework Directive.
 
More information on these obligations and related tools are available here.

Source:

European Chemicals Agency