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08.02.2023

ECHA publishes PFAS restriction proposal

The details of the proposed restriction of around 10 000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are now available on ECHA’s website. ECHA’s scientific committees will now start evaluating the proposal in terms of the risks to people and the environment, and the impacts on society.

The proposal was prepared by authorities in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden and submitted to ECHA on 13 January 2023. It aims to reduce PFAS emissions into the environment and make products and processes safer for people.

All PFASs in the scope of the proposal are very persistent in the environment. If their releases are not minimised, people, plants and animals will be increasingly exposed, and without a restriction, such levels will be reached that have negative effects on people’s health and the environment. The authorities estimate that around 4.4 million tonnes of PFASs would end up in the environment over the next 30 years unless action is taken.

The details of the proposed restriction of around 10 000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are now available on ECHA’s website. ECHA’s scientific committees will now start evaluating the proposal in terms of the risks to people and the environment, and the impacts on society.

The proposal was prepared by authorities in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden and submitted to ECHA on 13 January 2023. It aims to reduce PFAS emissions into the environment and make products and processes safer for people.

All PFASs in the scope of the proposal are very persistent in the environment. If their releases are not minimised, people, plants and animals will be increasingly exposed, and without a restriction, such levels will be reached that have negative effects on people’s health and the environment. The authorities estimate that around 4.4 million tonnes of PFASs would end up in the environment over the next 30 years unless action is taken.

Peter van der Zandt, ECHA’s Director for Risk Assessment said: “This landmark proposal by the five authorities supports the ambitions of the EU’s Chemicals Strategy and the Zero Pollution action plan. Now, our scientific committees will start their evaluation and opinion forming. While the evaluation of such a broad proposal with thousands of substances, and many uses, will be challenging, we are ready.”

Next steps
ECHA’s scientific committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) will check that the proposal meets the legal requirements of REACH in their meetings in March 2023. If it does, the committees will begin their scientific evaluation of the proposal. A six-month consultation is planned to start on 22 March 2023.

RAC will form an opinion on whether the proposed restriction is appropriate in reducing the risks to people’s health and the environment, while SEAC’s opinion will be on the socio-economic impacts, i.e. benefits and costs to society, associated with the proposal. Both committees form their opinions based on the information in the restriction proposal and the comments received during consultations. The committees also consider advice from the Enforcement Forum on the enforceability of the proposed restriction. Once the opinions are adopted, they will be sent to the European Commission who, together with the EU Member States, will then decide on the potential restriction.

An online information session will be organised on 5 April 2023 to explain the restriction process and to help those interested in participating in the consultation.

More information:
ECHA PFAS polyfluoroalkyl
Source:

European Chemicals Agency

17.01.2023

ECHA adds nine hazardous chemicals to Candidate List

ECHA has added nine chemicals to the Candidate List because of their hazardous properties. They are used for example in flame retardants, paints and coatings, inks and toners, coating products, plasticisers and in the manufacture of textile, leather or fur and paper.

Entries added to the Candidate List on 17 January 2023:

  • 1,1'-[ethane-1,2-diylbisoxy]bis[2,4,6-tribromobenzene]
  • 2,2',6,6'-tetrabromo-4,4'-isopropylidenediphenol
  • 4,4'-sulphonyldiphenol
  • Barium diboron tetraoxide
  • Bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate covering any of the individual isomers and/or combinations thereof
  • Isobutyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
  • Melamine
  • Perfluoroheptanoic acid and its salts
  • reaction mass of 2,2,3,3,5,5,6,6-octafluoro-4-(1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropan-2-yl)morpholine and 2,2,3,3,5,5,6,6-octafluoro-4-(heptafluoropropyl)morpholine

Information on these substances' uses and reasons for inclusion on the Candidate List is available here.

 

ECHA has added nine chemicals to the Candidate List because of their hazardous properties. They are used for example in flame retardants, paints and coatings, inks and toners, coating products, plasticisers and in the manufacture of textile, leather or fur and paper.

Entries added to the Candidate List on 17 January 2023:

  • 1,1'-[ethane-1,2-diylbisoxy]bis[2,4,6-tribromobenzene]
  • 2,2',6,6'-tetrabromo-4,4'-isopropylidenediphenol
  • 4,4'-sulphonyldiphenol
  • Barium diboron tetraoxide
  • Bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate covering any of the individual isomers and/or combinations thereof
  • Isobutyl 4-hydroxybenzoate
  • Melamine
  • Perfluoroheptanoic acid and its salts
  • reaction mass of 2,2,3,3,5,5,6,6-octafluoro-4-(1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropan-2-yl)morpholine and 2,2,3,3,5,5,6,6-octafluoro-4-(heptafluoropropyl)morpholine

Information on these substances' uses and reasons for inclusion on the Candidate List is available here.

 

More information:
ECHA chemicals hazardous
Source:

European Chemicals Agency

16.11.2022

Next EU-wide REACH enforcement project to focus on imported products

The Enforcement Forum of ECHA agreed that the next REACH enforcement project will investigate how companies fulfil the registration, authorisation and restriction obligations for products and chemicals they import from outside the EU. The project will be done in 2023-2025 and will require close cooperation between REACH enforcement and national customs authorities in the Member States.
In its November meeting, the Enforcement Forum, responsible for harmonising the enforcement of EU chemicals legislation, agreed to focus its next project on the control of imports of substances, mixtures and articles.

This subject was triggered by high levels of non-compliance in imported goods detected in previous Forum projects, including a recent pilot project. The pilot found that 23 % of inspected products were non-compliant with requirements set by EU law and further controls are necessary.

The Enforcement Forum of ECHA agreed that the next REACH enforcement project will investigate how companies fulfil the registration, authorisation and restriction obligations for products and chemicals they import from outside the EU. The project will be done in 2023-2025 and will require close cooperation between REACH enforcement and national customs authorities in the Member States.
In its November meeting, the Enforcement Forum, responsible for harmonising the enforcement of EU chemicals legislation, agreed to focus its next project on the control of imports of substances, mixtures and articles.

This subject was triggered by high levels of non-compliance in imported goods detected in previous Forum projects, including a recent pilot project. The pilot found that 23 % of inspected products were non-compliant with requirements set by EU law and further controls are necessary.

Control of imports at the point of entry is the most effective means of checking that non-compliant substances, mixtures and articles do not enter the European market. The project will also work on further developing and strengthening existing cooperation between REACH inspectors and customs. By strengthening the control of imports, the project will also contribute to the goals of the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.

The Forum also agreed to publish its future advice on enforceability of new restriction proposals under REACH.

Opportunities for expanding the future role of the Forum, strengthening the control of imports and other areas were on the agenda in an open session where 41 representatives from stakeholder organisations and four candidate countries joined. Among other topics, the open session also addressed the enforceability of REACH restrictions, for example, in textiles or on the use of lead gunshot in wetlands as well as analytical methods relevant for the control of REACH duties.

The Forum’s Biocidal Products Regulation Subgroup (BPRS) re-elected Helmut de Vos (BE) for a second term as a Vice-Chair.

More information:
ECHA REACH
Source:

European Chemicals Agency

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