Thursday, October 13, 2011

ECHA Sets Up Exposure Scenario Network to support REACH Chemical Evaluation

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has teamed up with several European chemical trade associations to establish a "cross-sector collaborative network to share knowledge, techniques and approaches to building and applying (REACH) exposure scenarios."  The new network "aims at identifying good industry practices on drafting exposure scenarios" and sets up a mechanism for "building a dialogue between supply chain actors" in an effort to "improve the protection of human health and the environment."

The new network is called ENES, the Exchange Network on Exposure Scenarios.  The trade associations with whom ECHA worked to set up ENES include the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), Eurometaux (the metals association), CONCAWE (the oil companies’ European association), the European Association of Chemical Distributors (FECC) and the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products (AISE) on behalf of the Downstream Users of  Chemicals Coordination Group (DUCC).

According to the ECHA press release, the first meeting will be held in Brussels, on November 24 and 25, 2011. Besides the trade associations listed above, various "sectors of industry, NGOs, Member State authorities and other stakeholders will be invited to participate."

See the ECHA page here for more information.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Canada Moves Into Next Phase of Chemical Management Plan

Canada has issued a news release indicating that it will move into the next phase of its ongoing Chemical Management Plan.  This is an extension of the plan first launched in 2006.   The CMP was designed to apply the rigorous assessment used for new chemicals to 'legacy chemicals' that were introduced in Canada between January 1, 1984, and December 31, 1986.  The new phase is seen "as a continuation of Canada's world-leading initiatives in this area and it will ensure the protection of Canadians' health and safety, and their environment," according to Shannon Coombs, President, Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association, who promised to "continue to work proactively with the government as the plan is implemented."

According to the announcement, new funding is being provided for this next phase of the Plan, "which will focus on:"
  • Further improving product safety in Canada;
  • Completing assessments of 500 substances across nine categories including phthalates, primarily used in plastics; and,
  • Investing in additional research for substances like Bisphenol A, flame retardants, substances that affect hormone function and substances that affect the environment.
Canada anticipates that "approximately 1,000 additional substances will also be addressed in the next five years through other initiatives, including rapid screening of substances which pose little or no risk." Canada recently banned four chemicals as harmful to the environment.

More information on Canada's Chemical Management Plan can be found here.

Canada's Chemical Substance main page is here.