EU ROUND UP – ECHA BACKS BISPHENOL A CONTROLSFebruary 5th, 2017
BY KEITH NUTHALL
THE EUROPEAN Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has added paint and coating ingredient Bisphenol A (BPA) onto its candidate list of substances of very high concern (SVHCs), whose use could be made subject to special European Union (EU) authorisation under the REACH chemical control system. The European Commission will now consider whether BPA, which is widely used, should receive this status over concerns that it is toxic for reproduction. It is also used in the manufacture of polycarbonates, epoxy resins (including as a hardener) and chemicals.
Through its inclusion on the list, any supplier of articles with BPA making up more than 0.1% by weight must warn downstream manufacturers, retailers and consumers of the chemical’s presence. Also, importers and producers of articles containing BPA have until July 12 to notify ECHA of this production and trade.
*Meanwhile, the EU agency has launched inspections across all 28 EU member states to probe the quality of safety data sheets that contain guidelines on the safe use of hazardous substances by chemical substance manufacturers.
Inspectors will check if these documents’ information match data on chemical safety reports (CSRs) prepared by substance manufacturers. They will also check exposure scenarios attached to the safety data sheets which describes the amount and character of exposure a chemical substance’s hazards that workers and consumers are likely to receive. Inspections will be staged throughout 2017 and a report will be released in 2018. See https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/15669641/safe_use_chemicals_en.pdf/789d0235-5872-4527-baad-db681edefdb0
*ECHA has also updated guidance using non-animal test methods for chemicals – under new REACH information requirements, non-animal testing is the default method for skin corrosion/irritation, serious eye damage/eye irritation and skin sensitisation assessments. The new guidance also introduces a new option of using a weight-of-evidence approach for acute toxicity. See https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13632/information_requirements_r7a_en.pdf/e4a2a18f-a2bd-4a04-ac6d-0ea425b2567f
*The European Commission has announced the suspension of 110 more duties on goods imported into the EU, (and reductions of duty on seven goods), because they are not manufactured in the EU. Breaks cover products such as paints and coatings additives, containing esters of phosphoric acid obtained from the reaction of phosphoric anhydride with 4-(1,1-dimethylpropyl) phenol and copolymers of styrene-allyl alcohol; and 30% or more but not more than 35% by weight of isobutyl alcohol, for instance – duty free to December 2018. Full schedule – old and new duty breaks. See http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:32016R2390&from=EN
*The Commission has also announced planned reforms to EU controls on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, which include new harmonised rules for assessing acute toxicity estimates (ATE) for particularly dangerous chemicals and preparations. The Commission is suggesting that the new system comes into force within 18 months – labellers and packagers will have that time to change advisory notes on relevant products. See http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-14345-2016-INIT/en/pdf