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An update on the REACH regulations
2014/2/11 14:27:29 Source: satra Author:Jackie Glasspool 点击率:

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) that controls and co-ordinates the REACH (Registration Evaluation and Approval of Chemicals) regulation (1907/2006), has stated that seven of the 15 chemicals shown on the substances of very high concern (SVHC) list in Annex XIV of the REACH regulations should not be used without specific authorisation.

Of these, three are phthalates with a history of use in the footwear industry. They are included among six phthalates that have already been restricted in use in toys and child care articles, and are now listed on Annex XVII of REACH with the same restrictions.

The phthalates in question are di butyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) and diethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) – all listed as toxic for reproduction and used as plasticisers, mainly in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compounds but also, to a much lesser degree, in other polymers. The major use of PVC within the footwear industry is as a soling material, although PVC is also used for wellington boots and ‘jelly shoes’. PVC is also used in coated fabric upper and lining materials, ancillary items, such as trims, badges and logo details.

Although the authorisation process may take a further four years to complete, it is SATRA’s recommendation to our members that alternatives to these phthalate are sought, especially with regard to their use in children’s products.

The other four substances are:

?Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD or HBCDD) – listed as ‘persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic’ (PBT). A flame retardant, it is used in the production of insulation panels and packaging products. It may also be used in the textile industry

?Musk xylene – described as ‘very persistent and very bioaccumulative’ (vPvB), it is used as a fragrance in detergents and fabric softeners

?4,4’-diaminodiphenylmethane (MDA) – listed as carcinogenic, MDA is used as a hardener in the production of epoxy resin

?Short-chained chlorinated paraffins – which are indicated as both ‘persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic’ (PBT), and ‘very persistent and very bioaccumulative’ (vPvB). They are used as flame retardants and plasticisers in numerous applications, such as high performance rubbers, sealants, paints and some textile coatings.

Permission to use?

These seven substances highlighted as of very high concern should not be used without specific authorisation by ECHA. The authorisation process itself will evaluate the potential for harm to human health and to the environment that these substances have, given the volumes used and the likelihood of exposure. It will also take into account the uses of the substances and any controls in place. Companies manufacturing the chemicals will be required, as part of this process, to apply for authorisation of each chemical.

Once evaluated, it is anticipated that these substances will be moved from the SVHC list within Annex XIV to Annex XVII and restrictions placed on their use, either as preparations or as present in finished goods. Annex XVII lists those substances that already have restrictions placed upon their use and which were previously listed within the marketing and use directive?(76/769/EEC and subsequent amendments). The final decision on the inclusion of Annex XIV substances within Annex XVII will be taken by the European Commission once the evaluation procedure is complete.

The evaluation process will take into account factors such as:

?Availability of suitable alternative(s)

?Producers being able to demonstrate that any risks resulting from their use throughout the supply chain can be controlled (that production methods are closed, thus preventing discharge or exposure)

?That removal of the products or substances from the marketplace would result in unacceptable economic repercussions.

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