Thursday, June 21, 2012

ECHA Calls for Comment on 10 Chemicals to be Banned

ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency based in Helsinki, issued a request for comment yesterday on proposals to ban ten additional chemicals under the Authorization phase of REACH.  All of the chemicals have been on the "candidate list" of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC).  Currently there are 84 substances on the candidate list, of which 14 have already been placed in Annex XIV for eventual removal from the marketplace.  The first sunset date is in early 2013, pending applications for authorization from manufacturers who want to keep the chemical on the market while they develop alternatives.

The ten chemicals out for public comment are:

  • Pentazinc chromate octahydroxide 
  • Arsenic acid
  • Formaldehyde, oligometric reaction products with aniline (technical MDA)
  • Potassium hyroxyoctaoxodizincated dichromate
  • Strontium chromate
  • 1,2-Dichloroethane (EDC)
  • Dichromium tris(chromate)
  • 2,2'-dichloro-4,4'-methylenedianiline (MOCA)
  • N,N-Dimethylacetamide (DMAC)
  • Bis(2-methoxyethyl) ether (Diglyme)
According to ECHA, interested parties may submit comments on the draft recommendation by September 19, 2012.

More information can be found on the ECHA site.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Australia IMAP Lists 3000 "Stage One" Chemicals for Assessment

The Australian chemicals agency, which goes by NICNAS, has announced that it will implement its new Inventory Multi-tiered Assessment and Prioritisation (IMAP) framework "in a staged manner." Beginning July 2012, "NICNAS will begin assessing around 3,000 existing chemicals," which are now designated “Stage One chemicals.”

The characteristics used to identify "stage one" chemicals are listed in the table on the NICNAS site and include a) chemicals for which NICNAS holds exposure data, b) chemicals identified as
a concern or for which action has been taken overseas, and c) chemicals detected in international studies analysing chemicals present in the blood in babies’ umbilical cords.

NICNAS has set up an online searchable database for anyone wishing to find out which chemicals are included in Stage One.

Factsheets on the program can be found here.

Monday, June 18, 2012

ECHA Drops Proposal to Restrict Four Phthalates

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has dropped its plan to restrict the use of four phthalate chemicals. The proposal had been put forth last year on the chemicals commonly called DIBP, DBP, BBP, DEHP.  However, after review an expert committee determined that the proposed restrictions could not be justified, ECHA last week retracted the proposal.

Denmark had asserted in 2011 that the four phthalates could affect sexual development.  The expert committee disagreed - they noted that the "available data does not indicate that there is currently a risk from combined exposure to the four phthalates." The committee also concluded that regulatory actions already being put into place would result in significant reduction of exposures, thus making the proposed restrictions somewhat redundant, yet overly punitive.

The decision is the first time the expert committee has refuted a proposed restriction from ECHA.  

A summary of the Danish report can be read here.

The full proposal can be downloaded here.