EC begins targeted consultation on endocrine disruptors
The European Commission (EC) is holding a targeted consultation on potential revisions to the Annexes to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) to introduce information requirements to improve the identification of substances with endocrine disrupting potential. The EC has developed two different options that would amend the Annexes to include new standard tests providing information on endocrine disrupting properties. The purpose of the targeted consultation is to obtain the views of key stakeholders on the costs and benefits of including in REACH standard information requirements for endocrine disruption. Responses to the targeted consultation are due October 8, 2021.
ECHA launches database of hazardous chemicals in products
A publicly accessible “substances of concern in products” database of products containing substances harmful to health or the environment went live in September, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced.
Around 6 000 companies across the European Union have successfully complied with their new duty to notify ECHA about products containing substances of very high concern, SVHCs. The SCIP database now displays more than four million article notifications.
Based on the information submitted so far, the most commonly notified product categories in the database are:
- machinery and their parts;
- measuring instruments and their parts;
- electronic equipment and their parts;
- vehicles and their parts;
- articles made of rubber; and
The most common substances of very high concern in notifications are:
- lead (e.g. in ball bearings, batteries);
- lead monoxide (e.g. in lamps, vehicle parts);
- lead titanium trioxide (e.g. in electric cookers);
- silicid acid, lead salt (e.g. in lead crystalware, vehicle coatings); and
- 1,6,7,8,9,14,15,16,17,17,18,18-Dodecachloropentacyclo[220.127.116.11,9.02,13.05,10]octadeca-7,15- diene, more commonly referred to as “Dechlorane PlusTM” (e.g. in paints, glues)
All companies placing articles containing substances of very high concern on the EU market have to notify them to the database. To help companies with this duty, ECHA has developed several guidance documents and tools.
EU project targets chemicals in textile imports
A new European Commission-funded project has been launched to explore solutions for “fair and effective market surveillance” on the chemicals in textile products imported from outside the single market.
The REACH4texiles initiative aims to apply the tight controls on textile chemicals which exist within the European Union (EU) to imported products from other parts of the world.
It was launched because an estimated 80 percent of the garments which reach the European market come from outside the EU and its jurisdiction such as the REACH regulation.
EPA moves to reduce super-polluting greenhouse gases
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a new rule to reduce super-polluting greenhouse gases commonly used in air conditioners and refrigerators as part of the cooling process.
These greenhouse gases, known as hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs, have an impact on warming the climate that is hundreds to thousands of times greater than the same amount of carbon dioxide, senior Biden administration officials said in a call with reporters.
The rule creates a legal requirement for companies and manufacturers to reduce HFCs and was first proposed in May under the 2020 American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, or AIM. The AIM Act requires the EPA to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs, manage the gases and their substitutes as well as facilitate the transition to new greener technologies.
Included in the new rule is the creation of a climate protection program that will phase down the production and consumption of HFCs by 85% within the next 15 years.
It’s expected the phase down will reduce emissions by the equivalent of 4.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide by 2050. According to the EPA officials, that’s equal to nearly three years of emissions from the U.S. power sector.