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NEA newsletter-202111

Latest Progress in Environmental Protection Laws and Regulations, Product Recall Case, and Experts Q&A

China revises FCM overall migration standards
On September 7, 2021, the National Health Commission of China and the General Administration of Market Supervision jointly issued the 2021 Announcement No. 8 and issued a number of national food safety standards, including the food contact material testing standard GB 31604.8-2021 "Food contact Materials and Articles - Determination of Overall Migration". This edition will revise and replace the existing standard GB 31604.8-2016 and add "Part Two - Determination of Overall Migration in Olive Oil", adding an overall migration measurement method for using olive oil as a food simulant. At the same time, the measurement of overall migration in water-based food simulants and chemical substitutes is specified in the first part of the standard. GB 31604.8-2021 will be officially implemented on March 7, 2022.

The latest developments of PIP (3:1) ban in TSCA
On September 3, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new rules to extend the compliance date for the manufacturing, processing and distribution of articles containing PIP (3:1) to March 8, 2022. On September 21, 2021, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the International Electronics Industry Association (IPC) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) jointly convened an inter-agency review meeting on the PIP (3:1) compliance extension proposal, calling for a 48-month extension on the PIP (3:1) ban. In October 2021, the U.S. EPA issued a proposed rule, proposing to extend the compliance date for the processing and distribution of items containing PIP (3:1) and keeping related business records to October 31, 2024, thereby providing more buffer time for major companies phasing out the use of the substance. At the same time, EPA will accept public comments within 60 days of the issuance of the proposed rules.

Denmark publishes legislation on persistent organic pollutants
In 2019, the European Union (EU) issued a new version of the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation (EU) 2019/1021, and continuously revised the restrictions on substances including PFOA, dicofol, PFOS, PCP and other substances in Appendix I. On October 5, 2021, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency issued a number of administrative orders on persistent organic pollutants to align with EU regulations. Among them, BEK no. 1894 designated the Danish Environmental Protection Agency as a market surveillance agency; BEK no. 1895 abolished the 2003 administrative order on specific POPs BEK no. 820; BEK no. 1896 abolished the BEK no. 854 issued in 2009 Executive order which limited PCP in products to less than 5 mg/kg. The effective date of BEK no. 1894 is October 10, 2021, while that of BEK no. 1895 and BEK no. 1896 are both January 1, 2022.

California regulates PFAS in certain food packaging
On October 5, 2021, the Governor of California, USA, signed AB 1200 into law to restrict perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in plant-based food packaging and required disclosure of the list of specified chemicals in cookware. The new regulations will be implemented in phases from January 1, 2023. The specific requirements are as follows:

  1. It is forbidden to intentionally add PFAS to food packaging mainly made of paper, cardboard or plant fiber. The definition of intentional addition is a) Use as a function or technical purpose; b) The content exceeds 100 ppm (calculated as total organic fluorine) ;
  2. Disclosure of the designated chemical in the cookware handle or any surface material of the cookware in contact with food or beverage: publish information on the website to provide online sales of all the chemicals included in the designated chemical list; list all the chemicals contained in the designated list on the label. 
EPA proposes updates to national VOC standards for aerosol coatings
Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to revise the national emission standards for volatile organic compounds (VOC) for aerosol coatings. The standard is a national reactivity-based VOC regulation for aerosol coatings (spray paints) under the Clean Air Act (CAA). Regarding the revision of the standard, EPA proposes:
  • Update the relative reactivity limits for aerosol products
  • Add new compounds and reactivity factors (RFs)
  • Update the existing reactivity values
  • Modify the default RF
  • Modify the threshold specified in this rule
  • Add electronic reporting provisions
EPA also proposes to add six new specialty coating categories and corresponding restrictions. One of the categories is electrical/electronic/conformal coatings with a limit of 2.00 O3/g VOC. In addition, various requirements for record keeping and reporting are also proposed.

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