Friday, December 10, 2010

ECHA Lets You Search REACH-Registered Substances - Is Your Chemical Legal?

November 30th has passed and (hopefully) all of the chemical substances pre-registered at manufacture or import above 1000 tonnes per year have now been registered (if not, realize that you cannot be manufacturing or importing them in Europe).  Now ECHA has made available a searchable database of information on registered substances. According to ECHA
The information in the database was provided by companies in their registration dossiers. You can find a variety of information on the substances which companies manufacture or import: their hazardous properties, their classification and labelling and how to use the substances safely, for example. 
In total (as of earlier this week), there had been 19,182 REACH registrations and over 1.4 million classification and labeling notifications.  Classification and labeling for substances must now be done in Europe in accordance with the new Classification, Labeling and Packaging Regulation (CLP), which implements the globally harmonized system (GHS) of classification and labeling the EU (needless to say "globally harmonized is more than a little bit of a misnomer given it is hardly harmonized globally).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

US House Names Key Committee Chairs Affecting Climate Change Regulation

With the Republican party becoming the majority in the US House of Representatives in last month's election, that means there will be new chair people for the key committees and subcommittees.  The biggest news is that Fred Upton of Michigan will take over the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is the one with oversight authority for issues such as climate change and other energy and environmental issues.  Upton beat out Joe Barton of Texas, most famously known for his apology in a House hearing to BP President Tony Hayward.

The committee also would have jurisdiction over any attempt to roll back the health care law that was passed in this Congress.  Meanwhile, Ed Whitfield of Kentucky is hoping to take over the subcommittee chairmanship that Upton held.

Other key Republican committee assignments include Darrell Issa of California to chair the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  Issa has said that he intends to hold hearings investigating climate scientists even though all investigations have exonerated all scientists of any wrongdoing while demonstrating the tendency of climate deniers to misrepresent both the state of the science and what scientists say about it.  The scrutiny of climate science is also part of Ralph Hall's intentions as the Texas Representative takes over the House Science Committee.

All of this means that science will be on trial, or depending on your point of view, the victim of witch hunts, by the incoming Republican leadership in the House.  Meanwhile the science continues to demonstrate with greater and greater certainty that the planet is warming due to man's activities.  So it will be interesting to see in the hearings that are very likely to occur whether scientists are able to take advantage of the opportunity to educate a few Congressman.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

EPA Publishes Alternative Assessment Criteria for Design for the Environment

"EPA's Design for the Environment (DfE) works in partnership with industry, environmental groups, and academia to reduce risk to people and the environment by finding ways to prevent pollution. For more than 15 years, through partnership projects, DfE has evaluated human health and environmental concerns associated with traditional and alternative chemicals and processes in a range of industries. These analyses have empowered hundreds of businesses to select safer chemicals and technologies. DfE focuses on industries that combine the potential for chemical risk reduction with a strong motivation to make lasting, positive changes."

Recently they published an Alternative Assessment Criteria for Hazard Evaluation Document.

Short on time today, but will be back later.

Monday, December 6, 2010

ECHA Will Add 8 Chemicals to its Substances of Very High Concern List

Now that the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has succeeded (mostly) in handling the thousands of substance registrations due by November 30th, they will continue to look at Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs).  To that end they will be adding eight SVHCs to its list of substances to be controlled under the Authorization part of REACH.
The substances are:
- Di-isobutylphthalate (DIBP)
- Diarsenic trioxide
- Diarsenic pentaoxide
- Lead chromate
- Lead sulfochromate yellow (C.I. Pigment Yellow 34)
- Lead chromate molybdate sulphate red (C.I. Pigment Red 104)
- Tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP)
- 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT)
But that isn't all. ECHA also has proposed another eight substances for inclusion on the candidate list, which depending on feedback from stakeholders, could also end up being added to the Authorization Annex under REACH. Those eight are:
- Chromium trioxide
- Acids generated from chromium trioxide and their oligomers
- Cobalt(II)sulphate
- Cobalt(II)dinitrate
- Cobalt(II)carbonate
- Cobalt(II)diacetate
- 2-methoxyethanol
- 2-ethoxyethanol

More to come.