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NEA newsletter-202302

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

Already two substances in the 29th SVHC intention list
According to the ECHA official website, at present, Austria proposes Bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulphone (CAS No. 80-07-9) and Sweden proposes Diphenyl (2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl) phosphine oxide (CAS No. 75980-60-8) as SVHC intention list substanc-es. These substances are likely to be included in the 29th SVHC candidate list in the future. Bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulphone is mainly used to synthesize engineering plastics, dyes and polymers, such as polysulfone, polyeth-er sulfone, polyether ether ketone, etc. while diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide can be used in UV-curable coatings, printing inks, UV-curable adhesives, optical fiber coatings, etc.

The final report of EU RoHS consultation project Pack 23 has been released
Recently, the EU RoHS consultation agency Bio Innovation Service has released the final report on exemption requests of Pack 23. The report evaluates the extension applica-tion of 12 exemptions in Annex III of RoHS Directive, including 4 (f), 8 (b), 8 (b) - I, 9, 9 (a) - II, 13 (a), 13 (b) - I, 13 (b) - II, 13 (b) - II, 15 and 15 (a). Among them, the application of cadmium and its compounds in electrical contacts in exemption 8 (b) - I is widely used in electronic and electrical products, and its update status has also attracted the attention of many enterprises. In the future, according to the recommendations of this evaluation report, the EU will issue the final exemption update directive in the Official Journal (EU-OJ).

Member States plan to evaluate 24 substances under CoRAP list
European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has recently released the draft of the Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) annual update for 2023-2025, prioritizing 24 substances for evaluation. The substance evaluation is a process under REACH Regula-tion, which aims to clarify a concern that the manufacture and/or use of these substances could pose a risk to human health or the environment. Of all the 24 substances, 5 are being planned for evaluation in 2023, and the remaining 19 substanc-es will be evaluated in 2024 and 2025. The ECHA Member State Committee is expected to give its opinion on this draft CoRAP update in February 2023. Based on the opinion ECHA aims to adopt and publish the CoRAP update on 21 March 2023.

Japan proposing to reduce fluorocarbon use in air conditioners
Fluorocarbons are part of the group of per- and polyfluorinated substances that have been widely used in refrigerants and solvents. They are identified as chemicals of concern due to their persistence and ecological toxicity. 
Japan is proposing changes that would require manufacturers to cut the use of fluorocarbons in air conditioners to meet global warming potential targets. Under the Act on Rational Use and Proper Management of Fluorocarbons, companies must reach GWP targets set for specific products by a target fiscal year. It aims for an 80% reduction in the use of HFCs by 2036. Enforcement is expected from March 2023, except for labelling requirements which would apply from next October.

Canada proposes further restrictions for mercury-containing products
Canada's Department of Health and Department of Environment have proposed amending regulations governing products containing mercury. Part of the amendments are as follows.

  • Lower current mercury content limits for straight fluorescent lamps for general lighting purposes, cold cathode fluorescent lamps and external electrode fluorescent lamps; 
  • Prohibit the use of mercury-containing catalysts used in polyurethane manufacturing from 1 January 2028; 
  • End the exemption for most mercury-containing lamps; and create three new categories of exempted lamps used for growing plants, water treatment and air treatment.

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