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Sustainability // Legislation


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California Safer Consumer Products Regulations approved


Chemical Watch reports that California’s Safer Consumer Products Regulations have been approved by the state’s Office of Administrative Law and will take effect on 1 October.  They will require manufacturers, or other responsible entities, to seek safer alternatives to harmful chemical ingredients in widely used consumer products.

California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) said, in a statement, that the Regulations offer “California the opportunity to lead the way in producing safer versions of goods, already in demand around the world.”

The approval of the Regulations concludes a process that began with legislation, signed in 2008. The first steps in their implementation will involve the publication of a list of candidate chemicals of concern, preparing guidance for conducting alternatives analyses under the Regulations and, by 1 April 2014, the release of a list of proposed priority products to be assessed for chemicals of concern.

“The Regulations protect public health, and provide incentives for innovative businesses to expand market share and reach new audiences,” said DTSC Director, Debbie Raphael.

The final text of the Regulations and supporting documents are available through the DTSC website. The 15-day comment period on clarifying revisions is open until 9 September.


Six exemptions to ELV directive under review


ENDS reports that The European Commission’s environment department is consulting on the renewal of six exemptions to a ban on lead in cars. Stakeholders have until 4 November to send their comments to consultants at the Öko-Institut.

These exemptions include the use of lead in high melting point (HMP) solders, compliant pin connector systems and soldering in laminated glass.

Background reports for each on of them present technical evidence gathered during a previous review in 2009. They show that although these uses were still unavoidable at the time, lead-free alternatives were being investigated.

In one case in particular, US company Antaya Technologies said it had developed an alternative solution that works for soldering in laminated glass. But it failed to substantiate its claim and the use of lead was permitted until 2014.

Stakeholders taking part in the consultation are asked to provide a roadmap with interim steps towards ELV compliance if the use of lead is still unavoidable.

All exemptions are listed in annex II of the directive on end-of-life (ELV) vehicles, which also bans the use of other heavy metals such as mercury. This annex was revised six times between 2002 and 2013. The latest changes were published in the EU’s official journal in May (Commission directive 2013/28).

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