As part of a study, scientists of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) studied 17 cosmetics and found relatively high concentrations of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in one of every three products.
The researchers found at least one of the substances in all of the products. In six of the products, the concentration of C9-C14 perfluoroalkyl acids or perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs) was above the threshold set by REACH that goes into effect on July 4, 2020.
The analysts found highest concentration of a single substance in a foundation, the basis of every make-up, at 3,340 ng/g perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA). The highest concentration of total PFASs measured was in a concealer, at 10,700 ng/g. The EPA has published a detailed description of the study and its results in a closing report. The agency also issued a press release.
PFAS work as surfactants and are used in moisturizers, eye shadows, and shaving creams. They help cremes penetrate the skin more easily.
An app produced by the German environmental ministry (PFC Planet App) explains the problems associated with per- and perfluorocarbons (PFCs).
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How will the chemicals industry of the future reinvent itself for political decision-makers? That was the question asked at the Copenhagen Institute of Futures Studies (CIFS) as assigned by the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). The study questioned 195 experts from the chemicals industry and 92 from other industries, science, and the public sector were questioned and their responses evaluated. The results are summarized in the Delphi Study Report: The European Chemical Industry in a 2050 Perspective.
The 90 questions addressed the future development of economics, geopolitics, society, technology, and the environment. The industry is aware that it faces multiple new challenges, among them the ability to meet the needs of 9 billion people and taking steps to deal with the threat of climate change. The end of the agenda included European initiatives to reduce pollutants and plastic waste.
The report states that leaders of the chemicals industry want more incentives and fewer regulations. They fear that EU regulations will have a negative effect on the ability of the industry to compete. But the report also has positive elements. For example, a clever external policy for REACH would make the conformity with the REACH® label a globally recognized brand.
What are the next steps?
The results of the Delphi Report should help those working on the strategy for the future. It will appear in the first quarter of 2019. CEFIC wants the report to create a conversation with EU entities; national governments; and the agencies of the UN, OECD, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), and various non-governmental organizations.
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Posted in REACH
Tagged CEFIC, CIFS, REACH
On October 19, Thailand announced changes to its cosmetics regulations that went into effect the next day.
The announcement covered three notifications. In the first two, the Thai Ministry of Public Health updated the list of preservatives permitted in cosmetics and the list of prohibited substances. The third requires companies to include warning labels on products that contain specific preservatives.
The new list now contains 56 permitted preservatives. It replaces the previous list, published in 2017. The list of prohibited substances was initially published in 2016. The lists are written in English, but the usage thresholds and specific requirements are in Thai.
In its approach to the selection of substances, Thailand used the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD). Nevertheless, it will take some time to implement the ACD in national law.
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Violations of EU chemicals law are sanctioned differently in each EU state. Manufacturers outside the EU can take advantage of such loopholes. Possible solutions were discussed in Brussels in mid-November by representatives of the ECHA, associations, member states, and non-governmental organizations. The EU Commission has provided a Webcast of the meeting.
Manufacturers who want to import illegal chemicals from outside the EU specifically choose countries with the mildest penalties, says Erwin Annys, REACH director at the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC).
Such manufacturers do not hesitate to use fraudulent methods, such as counterfeit certificates and analyses, says Tasoula Kyprianidou-Leontidou of the Ministry of Labor in Cyprus. In her opinion, only one solution is possible to avoid the problem – uniform sanctions in individual member states.
Tatiana Santos of the European Environmental Bureau offers a similar argument: Different sanctions are unfair and skew competitive conditions.
Johan Nouwen of the ECHA disagrees. The preconditions in each country differ, he says. It would be almost impossible to implement an approach so “that in a poor country the penalty would be the same as in a rich country.” Other speakers agreed with him, including Roberto Scazzola of AISE, the international soap and detergents trade body. “We are front runners globally; we have the most ambitious set of regulations
worldwide. This comes with a price and the price is complexity,” he says.
Tatiana Santos asked if it would not be possible to pillory the non-compliant manufacturers and publish their names as a deterrent. Erwin Annys does not think that such an approach can be implemented because industry rejects such practice.
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The EU Commission will examine whether endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can be included in the existing international system for classification of chemicals (GHS). That’s the content of a Communication of the Commission (see the fourth bullet on page 12). With the inclusion, the EU wants to create a globally uniform solution for the identification of EDCs, similar to what has already been realized for other classes of hazardous chemicals, such as mutagens, carcinogens, and reprotoxic substances.
If a GHS classification for EDCs existed at the UN level, argues the EU, the Commission would make it part of the CLP regulation.
Although the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) is open to a dialog, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) has rejected a GHS classification.
A representative of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has also taken a stand. In a conversation with Chemical Watch, Bob Diderich, head of the OECD’s environmental, health and safety division stated that many countries find legal dealings with EDCs difficult. He believes that a globally uniform GHS classification would help these countries. Nevertheless, he continued, clarification is needed to determine if the criteria that have applied so far would be adequate for a classification.
According to the Communication of the Commission, the EU is arguing for an integrated approach to ECDs that is both open and transparent. Among other approaches, it is planning a Web portal on the topic for EU citizens. The site should provide easily comprehensible and transparent information on the current status of EDCs.
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The South Korean Ministry of Environment has published implementation rules and guidelines for biocides. The new biocide law is to take effect on January 1, 2019. The ministry made its announcement in a three-page document (in Korean only).
The 200 pages of documents are available only in Korean and contain information on:
- Guidance for applicants on how to fill in and prepare dossiers
- Requirements for data submission and approval
- Which test methods are to be used
- Cases in which test exemptions apply
- How to deal with low-risk biocides
- Labelling requirements
- Fines for non-compliance
The documents that cover data requirements for the approval of biocidal active ingredients and biocide products are of particular interest for companies.
According to the Ministry, the rules should be revised every three years.
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The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has made good on its announcement of last year and introduced a Global Regulatory Monitoring System of Substances (GRMS2) – a type of database that contains information on upcoming regulatory measures. The ACEA has also issued a press release on the database.
The system works like radar and should inform companies in the automotive industry about upcoming legal changes so that they can react to them in good time.
The ECHA is currently working on a similar tool. The ACEA system looks at upcoming laws, but the ECHA database dealing with laws already on the books. Development is to start next year.
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