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Sustainability // Legislation

Legislation News

EU countries postpone classification of Pb-containing mixtures

A committee of EU member state representatives on REACH has agreed to postpone the adoption of a harmonised classification for lead-containing mixtures. The classification was included in the proposed EU Regulation, known as the seventh adaptation to technical progress (7ATP) of the EU CLP Regulation.

The proposed classification says lead-containing mixtures or materials should be classified as a category 1A reprotoxicant at a specific concentration limit (SCL) of 0.03%. Meeting last week, the representatives agreed to withdraw it, so that the proposed Regulation, implementing the 7ATP, could be voted through. 

The vote on the 7ATP had been postponed at the committee’s last meeting, because some countries want a higher concentration limit that will help the recycling of lead-containing materials.

Further work on the testing methods for calculating lead concentration in alloys still needs to be done, before coming to a solution, Chemical Watch understands. Echa is expected to be tasked with the work.

The classification will now be added to the proposal for the ninth ATP. It is not yet clear when these discussions will start. Metals industry representatives welcomed the postponement. “In the next months, we look forward to supporting the EU’s work to evaluate how bioelution tests can be used for classification of inorganic substances and address the lead-specific concentration limit issue, including its potential impact on downstream applications and metals recycling,” says Guy Thiran, Eurometaux director general.

China adopts 4th revised edition of GHS

Post By: Jonathan Rickwood on Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Chemical Watch reports that China has announced a raft of new and revised standards that align its classification and labelling requirements with the fourth revised edition of the UN Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of chemicals classification and labelling.

Two new and 26 revised mandatory national standards on classification and labelling were approved, according to two notices issued by the Standardisation Administration of China (SAC) on 10 October. The standards will come into force on 1 November 2014.    

The two new standards...

Public consultaion on lead in consumer articles opened

Chemical Watch reports that ECHA has opened a public consultation on a proposal submitted by Sweden to restrict lead and its compounds in consumer articles. The restriction is proposed for articles that can be easily accessed by, and placed in the mouths of, small children, such as clothes, interior decorations and leisure articles.

The consultation will run until 1 June 2013, and any comments received will then be discussed by the Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC). Interested parties can submit comments via a web form on the ECHA website. Both committees have previously recommended restricting the use of lead in jewellery.

RAC is expected to deliver an opinion in December 2013, with SEAC following in March 2014. A final decision will then be made by the European Commission.

Brazilian researchers publish review of organotins


Chemical watch reports that Brazilian scientists have conducted a wide-ranging review of the reproductive toxicity, biochemistry and environmental fate of organotins, such as those used as biocides in anti-fouling paint. “It is important to improve our knowledge of organotins’ effects on environmental health,” they conclude.

The review will be published in Reproductive Toxicology.

Brussels seeks further advice on dental amalgam

Post By: Jonathan Rickwood on Wednesday, 01 August 2012

ENDS Reports, The European Commission is taking more time to consider what action to take on mercury in dental amalgam, following a recommendation to ban it on environmental grounds. It has asked experts for advice on health impacts.

The EU's Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) will update its position by February next year. In an opinion issued in 2008, the committee concluded that mercury-based dental fillings were safe.

The potential health risk of amalgam...

Too much lead found in Danish fishing tackle

Post By: Jonathan Rickwood on Tuesday, 17 July 2012

ENDs Reports: Denmark's ban on the import and sale of fishing tackle containing lead is being widely flouted, according to a survey published by its environment agency on Monday.

Over two thirds of 266 products tested by the agency were illegal and only one of the twenty shops visited complied in full.

The Danish ban has been in place since 2002 and is the EU's only general ban on lead in fishing equipment. The European Commission ruled out...

US industry group highlights concerns with EPA’s 'orphan' HPV proposal

Post By: Katie Hill on Wednesday, 01 February 2012

Chemical Watch reports the US Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (Socma) has highlighted two major concerns with proposals from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for addressing 45 'orphan' chemicals from the High Production Volume (HPV) Challenge Program, and the new approach to issuing significant new use rules (SNURs). Further information can be found here.

Researchers show low BPA exposure can alter memory in adult rats

Post By: Katie Hill on Thursday, 26 January 2012

Chemical Watch report that scientists have shown that exposure to a low dose of bisphenol A (BPA) can impair memory and alter brain structure in adult male rats.

The researchers exposed the animals to a single dose of BPA at a level just below the reference safe daily limit recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The results showed BPA significantly impaired both visual and spatial memory, which may be caused by changes in specific brain proteins and...

Companies request new RoHS exemptions

Post By: Katie Hill on Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Companies have submitted nearly 20 requests for new exemptions under the RoHS directive on toxic substances in electrical and electronic equipment. Most requests involve the use of lead or cadmium in medical devices and monitoring instruments.

These two product categories were previously excluded from RoHS. The exemptions requested are for technologies which will have no viable alternative by 2014. In some cases alternatives may exist, but the cost to healthcare would be unbearable and without any obvious benefit to...

Research finds low levels of BPA disrupt thyroid hormone receptors

Post By: Katie Hill on Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Chinese scientists investigating the effects of low levels of bisphenol A (BPA) on thyroid hormone activity have seen thyroid hormone disruption effects of low concentrations of BPA.

The research is published in the journal Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology.


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