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NEA newsletter-202402

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

European Commission grants RoHS exemption for cadmium, lead in PVC applications
The amendment to the EU RoHS Directive was published in the EU's Official Journal on 10 January, approving an exemption request for the use of lead and cadmium in electrical and electronic windows and doors containing recovered polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This particular use is permitted until 28 May 2028.
Cadmium and lead in plastic profiles containing mixtures produced from recovered rigid PVC waste, used for electrical and electronic windows and doors, where the concentration in the recovered rigid PVC material does not exceed 0,1 % cadmium by weight and 1,5 % lead by weight.
From 28 May 2026, rigid PVC recovered from electrical and electronic windows and doors shall only be used for the production of new articles under the categories specified in entry 63, points 18(a) to (d) of Annex XVII to REACH regulation.
Suppliers of PVC articles containing recovered rigid PVC with a concentration of lead equal to or greater than 0,1 % by weight of the PVC material shall ensure, before placing those articles on the market, that they are marked with the statement: “Contains 0,1 % lead. Where the marking cannot be provided on the article due to the nature of the article, it shall be on the packaging.

Bisphenol S added to Proposition 65 List
On December 29, 2023, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has added bisphenol S (BPS) to the Proposition 65 list as a reproductive toxicant (female reproductive endpoint). This listing was done via the "State's Qualified Experts" mechanism, based on the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee's (DARTIC) determination that this chemical was clearly shown to cause female reproductive toxicity.
A meeting of the DARTIC was held virtually on December 12, 2023. During the meeting, OEHHA staff presented a summary of evidence on the female reproductive toxicity of bisphenol S (BPS). The DARTIC then determined that BPS was clearly shown through scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles to cause female reproductive toxicity by a vote of 9 (yes) to 0 (no).
BPS is a common replacement for BPA in some types of paper receipts, protective coatings, epoxy resins and other polymers.

Taiwan, China strengthens PFAS management
Taiwan's Ministry of Environment (MoE) has formulated a plan to manage persistent organic pollutants (POPs) under the Stockholm Convention, including PFAS such as perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS). the MoE will encourage industry to voluntarily reduce its use of PFAS or use substitutes and strengthen its communication with various stakeholders, including educating the public so as to protect human health.
The MoE will work with ten other ministries and committees to implement five main objectives:

  • managing the source of pollution;
  • controlling the pollutants' spread;
  • integrating international regulations;
  • controlling industrial use of the substances; and
  • communicating risks.
Each ministry will conduct rolling reviews and revisions of relevant regulations. Sampling and testing methods will also be developed in order to monitor and understand the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the environment, products and food.

China RoHS Releases Mandatory Standards Revision Plan
On 28 December 2023, the Standardization Administration of the P.R.C.(SAC) issued a notice on the issuance of 49 mandatory national standard making and revising plans such as "Restriction on the Use of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Products" and other plans for the foreign language version of the relevant standards, of which CN ROHS is related as follows:
National Standard Program No. Name Classification Former standard number Project cycle (months)
20231685-Q-339 Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Mandatory GB/T 26572-2011 16
Foreign Language Edition Project Plan No. National Standard Program No. Name Department in charge
W20233603 20231685-Q-339 Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

Japan Consults Over Ban on Three POP Chemicals
In May 2023, methoxychlor, dechlorane plus and UV-328 were listed under Annex A (elimination) to the Stockholm Convention at the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (SC COP-11).
In December 2023, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and other competent authorities announced a draft cabinet order to partially revise the Ordinance for Enforcement of the Act on the Examination and Regulation of Manufacturing of Chemical Substances (draft order).
The draft order contains several important provisions. It:
  • Designates methoxychlor, dechlorane plus and UV-328 as Class 1 Specified Chemical Substances under the nation's 'Act on the Evaluation of Chemicals Substances and Regulation of their Manufacturing etc. (Act No. 117 of 1973) – also known as the Chemical Substances Control Act (CSCL).
  • Prohibits the manufacture and import of the three persistent organic pollutants (POP) from the fall of 2024.
  • Prohibits the use of these three POP chemicals without establishing essential uses.
  • Prohibits the importation of specific products that contain dechlorane plus and UV-328 (see Table 1 below).
Substance Products Prohibited from Import
Dechlorane Plus
  • Adhesives and tapes
  • Electrical and electronic product components, housings, wires and cables
  • Flame retardant additive for resins
  • Lubricants
  • Silicone rubber
  • Adhesives, tapes, and sealants
  • Lubricants
  • Paints and varnishes
  • UV absorber in plastics

The comment period ended on 10 January 2024.

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