Friday, June 18, 2010

ECHA Adds Eight New Substances of Very High Concern to the REACH Candidate List

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently added eight additional chemical substances to the candidate list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). Once on the candidate list the substances are eligible for entry onto Annex XIV and the authorization phase of REACH. Authorization means that companies would have to first apply to be "authorized" for continued use, but that use could be very much restricted and only for a limited period of time while substitutes are being developed.

The eight substances and the criteria for listing are:

Anhydrous disodium tetraborate - Reproductive toxicity

Boric acid - Reproductive toxicity

Ammonium dichromate - Carcinogenicity, Mutagenicity, and Reproductive toxicity

Potassium chromate - Carcinogenicity, Mutagenicity

Potassium dichromate - Carcinogenicity, Mutagenicity, and Reproductive toxicity

Sodium chromate - Carcinogenicity, Mutagenicity, and Reproductive toxicity

Tetraboron disodium heptaoxide hydrate - Reproductive toxicity

Trichloroethylene - Carcinogenicity

The addition of these SVHCs brings the total number of substances to date on the candidate list to 38, with the intent to increase the number listed to 135 by 2012.

More information on the candidate list can be found on the ECHA website.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Soap and Detergent Association Renames Itself the American Cleaning Institute

It's official. The American Cleaning Institute(ACI) is the new name of the former Soap and Detergent Association (SDA). While SDA had announced the change several months ago it has now official and the new website ( has gone live.

From ACI's press release:

"Our new name, brand and website enable us to better tell the story of how cleaning products and practices contribute to better living," said ACI Board Chair Jane Hutterly, EVP of Worldwide Corporate & Environmental Affairs, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. "Our industry's commitment to a more sustainable world and enhancing health and the quality of life is stronger than ever and will be well represented by the American Cleaning Institute."

Membership includes the manufacturers and formulators of household, industrial, and institutional cleaning products, their ingredients and finished packaging; oleochemical producers; and chemical distributors to the cleaning product industry. ACI and its members are dedicated to improving health and the quality of life through sustainable cleaning products and practices.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two Symposia Examine Chemical Toxicity Testing in the US and Beyond

Two upcoming symposia will examine the development of new toxicity testing strategies in the midst of stakeholder negotiations with Congress over the recently introduced Safe Chemicals Act legislation. The meetings follow on to the 2007 National Research Council (NRC) report, "Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy." The "NRC vision calls for a revolution in the science of testing chemicals for toxicity that will draw on major advances in scientific tools that are now available—or are rapidly evolving."

Three years later, how are we implementing these proposed changes, from a legal and policy perspective? What are the obstacles? What remains to be done? These two symposia will offer some answers. Both will be held in Washington DC but in two locations.

The Future of Chemical Toxicity Testing in the US: Creating a Roadmap to Implement the NRC's Vision and Strategy (Monday, June 21, 2010, 8am - 5pm, National Press Club)

The symposium will feature a keynote presentation by USEPA Assistant Administrator Stephen A. Owens and will convene a range of legal, policy, and scientific experts to discuss—

* The status of implementation of the vision for chemical toxicity testing three years after the NRC report was issued.
* What the federal agencies are doing—and planning to do—to ensure implementation of the NRC vision.
* Stakeholder perspectives on implementation across a range of viewpoints: industry, public health and environmental protection, the academy, and animal welfare.
* Where implementation of the NRC vision fits into a landscape of potentially broad legislative reform for toxic substances, harmonization with Canadian requirements, and scarcity of financial resources.

International Harmonization in Chemical Toxicity Testing: An EU Perspective on the Way Forward (Tuesday, June 22, 2010, 8am - 1:15pm, Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies)

EU regulations such as REACH and the 7th Amendment to the Cosmetics Directive have highlighted the crucial role of EU-US relations in the field of humane science. This symposium is intended to examine humane science and toxicity testing from the point of view of important EU stakeholders and experts. This half-day program features speakers from the European Commission, as well as policy leaders from major European corporations, member countries and academic institutions.

More information on both symposia, including agendas and speaker information, can be found at the symposia web site.

Monday, June 14, 2010

EU Commission Gets Close to Issuing Final PBT Chemical Annex for REACH

After much internal (and external) disagreement, the European Commission is finally ready to move ahead with its criteria for identifying Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic chemicals (PBT), as well as those that are not toxic but are Very Persistent and Very Bioaccumulative (vPvB). This new version of what is called Annex XIII of REACH is being forwarded to the CARACAL group this week and could be published some time this fall.

CARACAL is an acronym for the Competent Authorities to REACH and Classification and Labelling (CARACAL). If the proposal is adopted a notification would be sent to the WTO for comment within 60 days, and if no hangups occur there it will enter the REACH comitology procedure. Assuming all goes well there then it will get published in the EU Official Journal and enter into force.

But this still isn't a done deal. The proposal, which relies on established PBT criteria and allows weight of evidence to be included, has been quite vigorously debated inside the Commission. Most of the disagreement has been over the use of weight of evidence (WoE). WoE was omitted from the original proposal in 2008 but now it seems it has been allowed in order to provide some flexibility in assessing the PBT or vPvB status of a chemical.

The PBT guidance is available on the ECHA web site.