EU Prohibits Methanol in Windscreen Washing Fluids

The EU Commission published a Regulation on the Limitation of Methanol in April. According to the regulation, windscreen washing or defrosting fluids containing a concentration equal to or greater than 0.6 % of methanol by weight may not be placed on the market after May 9, 2019. A corrigendum was subsequently published because the date on the original version was incorrect.

The trigger for the EU measure was a proposal from Poland in January 2015. The number of cases of methanol poisoning had increased there because windscreen washing fluid was being used as a cheap substitute for drinking alcohol. In the dossier created according to Annex XV, cases of poisoning were indicated in at least seven member states. Deaths occurred in two member states.

The association of methanol manufactures, The Methanol Institute (MI), expressed its disappointment in the measure. The CEO of the MI, Gregory Dolan, criticized the restriction as excessive, given that the problem of consuming these fluids is limited to a few countries. In addition, he states, consumers would ultimately find the law more expensive than the results of the misuse of methanol. Dolan also noted that the Website of the MI offers a range of safety measures related to the application and use of methanol. More details on the position of the MI can be found in its statement made at the beginning of May.

Do you deal with methanol and have questions about the marketability of your products? If so, please contact us for more information at sds@kft.de.

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Turkey: More Training Institutes for KKDIK Experts

The Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanization (MoEU) has now accredited a total of seven institutes to train chemists as experts in chemical safety and evaluation (KDU in Turkish). The requirements for accreditation are considerable. They are described and defined in Annex 18 of the Turkish REACH regulation (KKDIK). The experts may create and sign safety data sheets after they have received permission from one the following governmental agencies:

  • Cetin Akademyiconsultancy – Tekirdag
  • Crad consultancy – Istanbul
  • DATA consultancy – Konya
  • DORUK consultancy – Gebze
  • TMMOB – Chamber of Chemical Engineers – Ankara
  • Turkish Chemical Manufacturers Association (TKSD) – Istanbul
  • TUV Austria Certification and Training – Ankara

All companies involved in the chemicals industry that operate on the Turkish market must hire trained KDUs to ensure the security of their business.

We have supported companies operating on the Turkish market for many years. If you have any questions, please contact us at sds@kft.de.

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Cosmetics: New Rating System Should Drive Sustainability

A U.S. non-profit organization, The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) and retail companies Walmart and Target have published a rating system for the personal care industry that they developed as part of a joint project with other partners. The point system, an industry scorecard, should help manufacturers develop sustainable and safe products.

The core of the rating system consists of 32 key performance indicators that are divided into four areas:

  • Human health impact of ingredients and product formulations
  • Resource usage and emissions during sourcing, manufacturing and product use
  • Ingredient disclosure to consumers
  • Environmental and health impacts of packaging

Most of the points (130 of 400) are awarded in the human health cluster, which covers the ingredients of cosmetics and the related safety concerns. For example, companies win points when their products do not contain anything that appears in one of the pertinent lists of hazardous substances, such as the Californian Prop 65 list of substances suspected of causing cancer, the EU priority list of endocrine disruptors, and the list of carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction (CMR) substances in Annex XVII of REACH. Companies win extra points when an independent third-party certifies their products as featuring quality and enhanced safety.

As early as three years ago, Walmart, Target, and the non-profit Forum for the Future (FFTF) began work on the rating system project as part of the 2014 beauty and personal care (BPC) product sustainability summit. They were later joined by other organization, including Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

Many retail groups welcome the rating system. Along with Walmart and Target, retailers CVS Health, Sephora, and Walgreens want to develop their own systems on this foundation. “We believe that, over time, this tool will be valuable in both evaluating the sustainability of the products we sell at CVS Pharmacy and increasing the availability of sustainable products more broadly,“ said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS Health in an article in greenBiz.

The retail companies noted here hope that other companies will follow their lead, especially companies that are more active in e-commerce business. TSC wants to use 2018 as a year of continuous development of the rating system, says TSC’s CEO, Euan Murray.

Ensure the legal compliance of your products. If you have any questions, you can contact us at cosmetic@kft.de.

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U.S. Guidelines for Hazard Communication to Be Aligned with GHS Guidelines

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plans to revise its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in 2019 and align it with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classification and labelling of chemicals of the United Nations.

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) (United States Department of Labor, DOL) decided on the change this Spring as part of its regulatory agenda, moving the project from a status of “long-term action” to that of a “proposed rule.”

OSHA last revised the Standard in 2012, when it aligned with the third revision of the GHS. The seventh revision has been in force in July 2017 and can be downloaded from the UNECE-Website. The compendium will be updated next year.

An important goal of OSHA is to align the Standard with the Canadian and EU approaches to the GHS. Maureen Ruskin, deputy director – directorate of standards and guidance, provided more information in a presentation she gave in March this year.

The UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS) will hold its 35th meeting from July 4 – July 6 in Geneva. The positions to be taken by and the suggestions to be made by the U.S. representatives at the meeting will be worked out in a public meeting on June 12 at the Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C.

Do you need support to follow the GHS Guidelines in your country? We are here for you at sds@kft.de.

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GHS: Why Regulations Aren’t Uniform

In his overview article in CHEManager (German only), KFT director Karl-Franz Torges discusses why no real uniformity exists after 15 years of GHS – even though the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro (The Earth Summit) in 1992 decided on harmonization of the classification and labeling of chemicals.

Yes, GHS has already been implemented in 50 countries. But in highly various ways and no GHS regulations yet exist in 128 countries. Torges identifies some important reasons for the discrepancy. The undesirable multiplicity of approaches arises partly because individual countries introduce GHS based on various revisions of the system. Other countries select individual parts of GHS and implement those in their national laws and regulations, a building-block approach. Torges, an expert in chemical compliance, also covers the situation with safety data sheets, which is no less complex than GHS.

If you need any support related to GHS guidelines, please contact us at sds@kft.de

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U.S. EPA Bans Methylene Chloride from Paint Strippers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has suggested prohibiting the production and use by private persons of paint strippers that contain methylene chloride (also called dichloromethane) and has drafted a corresponding regulation under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The agency will soon send the draft to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as indicated in its press release.

 Methylene chloride is an outstanding solvent for resins, fats, plastics, and asphalt. It can also serve as a paint stripper and a degreasing agent. Nevertheless, the dangers of the substance have been known for some time. Workers exposed to the substance have a higher risk of contracting cancer and liver disease. That’s why the administration of President Obama proposed an appropriate rule, but its approval has been delayed.

 After recent deaths caused by use of methylene chloride, NGOs began campaigns and called upon building supply stores to stop selling paint strippers that contain methylene chloride. They were successful. Just two days after a meeting of EPA director Scott Pruitt with NGO members and the families of those who died from
illnesses related to methylene chloride, the EPA decided to act. It stopped plans for a reevaluation of
methylene chloride as originally requested by representatives of the Halogenated Solvents Industry Alliance (HSIA).

In the EU, the use of methylene chloride in paint strippers by private persons and commercial entities
is forbidden by
Decision 455/2009/EC of the European Parliament as of May 6, 2009. Industrial uses are exceptions. Effective December 6, 2012, all paint strippers that contain methylene chloride and are used
industrially must be labeled accordingly.

 Do you deal with hazardous chemicals? Make sure you are compliant with all applicable laws and contact us at reach@kft.de.

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Canada: Stricter Limits for Lead and Cadmium in Children’s Products

The Canadian health ministry, Health Canada, has published two new regulations: Children’s Jewellery
Regulations: SOR/2018-82
) and the Consumer Products Containing Lead Regulations: SOR/2018-83. Both take effect six months after publication in the Canada Gazette.

The Children’s Jewellery Regulation states that the following products may contain a maximum of 90 mg/kg of lead.

  • Toys intended for children between 3 and 14 years of age
  • Children’s clothing and accessories
  • Products primarily intended to facilitate the relaxation, sleep, hygiene, and transportation of a child less than four years of age

The same regulation also defines a total permissible amount of cadmium of 130 mg/kg in children’s jewelry that is small enough to be swallowed and a total permissible amount of lead of 90 mg/kg (previously set at 600 mg/kg and 90 mg/kg for migratable lead).

Two non-governmental agencies active in health matters find the definitions wanting. They are calling for limits that apply to jewelry in general, not just children’s jewelry. After all, they point out, children also have access to adult jewelry.

In Germany, the definitions set by REACH apply: Up to 0.01% by weight for cadmium and up to 0.05% by weight for lead. Cases involving costume jewelry that exceed those limits are not rare. For example, as part of a study, the Regional Council of Tübingen found that 10% of jewelry items in floor trading had an
increased level of lead and or cadmium. Some 17% of jewelry items sold on the Internet, had levels that
exceeded the legal limits.

We can help you ensure the legal compliance of your products. Please contact us at reach@kft.de.

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