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NEA newsletter-202311

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

Annex XVII of REACH proposes to add 3 new restricted substances
On September 13, 2023, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) adopted proposals for the restriction of three new substances under REACH Annex XVII. As a next step, these chemicals will be published on the Official Journal and ECHA's website for an official control according to the restriction process.

  • Terphenyl, hydrogenated: restrict the use of Terphenyl, hydrogenated as a substance, in mixtures and articles or parts thereof.
  • Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): Restricting the use of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in fire-fighting foams.
  • N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAC); 1-ethylpyrrolidin-2-one (NEP): Manufacturers, importers and down-stream users of the substance on its own (regardless of whether DMAC, NEP are a constituent, an impurity or a stabilizer) or in mixtures in a concentration equal or greater than 0.3 % shall specify a harmonized Derived Non-Effect Level (DNEL) value in their chemical safety assessment and safety data sheets.
Swedish agency finds hazardous substances in almost half of consumer electronics tested
The Swedish Chemicals Agency, Kemi, has detected restricted substances in quantities exceeding the EU limits in 47 out of 98 (48%) electronic products that was tested between 2022 and 2023. The restricted substances found in the project were mainly lead and cadmium in solders, as well as phthalates and short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCP) in plastic components.  The most significant issues were identified in low-cost chargers, headphones, lighting and other consumer electronics from 24 unknown companies. Meanwhile, 86% of the goods contained a CE mark. Unfortunately, this indicates that for this type of product, CE marking is not a guarantee of the quality of the goods.

Prop 65 short form warning overhaul coming 'very soon'
California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has indicated plans to release within the next few months a revamped proposal to modify requirements for using 'short-form' Proposition 65 warnings.  At the time, the agency indicated plans to initiate a new rulemaking within the next few weeks, but that timeline has continued to slip.
Addressing the potential amendments at Chemical Watch's US Regulatory Summit in September, Carolyn Rowan, OEHHA chief counsel, said the rulemaking is a "continuing priority" for the agency and likely to reemerge in the coming weeks.

US EPA finalizes sweeping PFAS reporting rule
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized reporting and recordkeeping requirements for PFAS under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). EPA is requiring any person that manufactures (including import) or has manufactured (including imported) PFAS or PFAS-containing articles in any year since January 1, 2011, to electronically report information regarding PFAS uses, production volumes, disposal, exposures, and hazards. Also, the reporting rules cover all businesses and there are no exemptions for article importers or small businesses.
The final rule's definition captures substances with at least one of these three structures:
  • R-(CF2)-CF(R')R", where both the CF2 and CF moieties are saturated carbons;
  • R-CF2OCF2-R', where R and R' can either be F, O or saturated carbons;
  • CF3C(CF3)R'R", where R' and R" can either be F or saturated carbons.
UN committee agrees to recommend global ban for MCCPs and LC-PFCAs
Scientists at the 19th Persistent Organic Pollutant Review Committee (POPRC-19) meeting agreed that following two chemicals should be considered hazardous and controlled under the Stockholm Convention of the United Nations.
  • MCCP:
    The committee also adopted the proposal for MCCPs, but with certain exemptions for metalworking fluids, PVC, adhesives and sealants, and tape used for non-structural bonding in aerospace and defence products.
  • LC-PFAS:
    For LC-PFCAs, which belong to the PFAS family, the POPRC recommended a range of specific exemptions, including to allow certain uses for semiconductors, electronic equipment, medical devices, motor vehicles, and textiles for oil and water repellent.

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