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NEA newsletter-202312

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

California AG warns industry to comply with obligations related to PFAS-containing FCMs
The food contact material (FCM) statute (AB 1200) prohibited intentionally added PFASs, or total organic fluorine (TOF) above 100ppm in fibre-based food packaging, from the beginning of 2023. It also compelled cookware chemical disclosures online and limited claims about cookware being free from PFASs or other particular substances. Starting in 2024, the law will mandate on product cookware ingredient labelling and expand the constraint on chemical-free claims to cookware packaging. the California Attorney General's Office may bring an enforcement action for a failure to comply with A.B. 1200, seeking civil penalties, restitution, and injunctive relief, and can pursue criminal liability.

California adopts Prop 65 safe harbour level for antimony trioxide
California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has adopted a Proposition 65 'no significant risk level' (NSRL) of 0.13 micrograms per day for inhalation exposures to the flame retardant antimony trioxide. The NSRL for antimony trioxide will go into effect on 1 January 2024. As a flame retardant, it is widely used in plastics, rubber, textiles, chemical fibers, pigments, paints, electronics and other industries. It is also used as a catalyst and production raw material in the chemical industry.

Taiwan, China amends RoHS rules for freezers
The Standard Inspection Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan, China has published an announcement to amend the inspection rule for freezers on 27 September 2023. The update took immediate effect following the Ministry of Economic Affairs announcement. However, inspections will not begin until 1 January 2025.
The inspection of Section 5 of CNS15663 (Taiwan RoHS-like regulation) on freezer products previously only applied to standing freezers with rated voltage below 250V and effective content below 400 liters or less. The update took freezers, including standing freezers and horizontal freezers with an effective internal volume of 700 litres or less in scope.

Latest application and sunset dates extended for DEHP uses in medical devices
The European Commission has extended the deadline for applications to use bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) in medical devices from 27 November 2023 to 1 January 2029. The sunset date, after which companies cannot market or use a substance without an authorisation, has been extended from 27 May 2025 to 1 July 2030.
This gives companies possibility to use their resources for assessing DEHP-free alternatives under the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR). Consequently, an application for authorisation under REACH will only be necessary for uses where alternatives are not available or not yet certified under the MDR.

Campaigners call for EU phase-out of PVC by 2030
Several health and environment campaigners have opened a petition asking the European Commission to swiftly mandate an ambitious restriction on the production, use and placing on the market of PVC and its additives under the REACH regulation, calling for the European Commission to act now to phase out PVC by 2030.NGOS also call on the European Commission and its member states to demand a global ban of PVC under the new Global Plastics Treaty.
Petition says there is already evidence shows that PVC can be replaced with safer materials for almost all uses. The petition calls for only uses of PVC, for which no safer alternatives are available, and which are needed to protect our health or safety or are critical for society - or essential uses - should be allowed under strictly controlled conditions.

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