EDF Health

Selected tag(s): Carcinogenic Mutagenic or Toxic for Reproduction (CMR)

New Ways in the Ancient World: Japan and China advance their chemicals policies

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow.

This isn’t the first time on this blog that we’ve observed that chemicals reform is popping up all over the world.  Whatever their strengths and shortcomings, the 1999 amendments to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the European Union’s REACH Regulation got the ball rolling.  The momentum of chemicals reform is reaching around the globe as governments pay more attention to the risks posed by chemicals.  In this post, we will focus on recent developments in Japan and China.

Japan and China are two of the U.S.’s top competitors, so it’s noteworthy that they have not allowed themselves to fall behind in chemicals management.  Why are they expanding their chemicals regulations?  Do they know something we don’t?  Read More »

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ECHA adds seven more Substances of Very High Concern to REACH Candidate List

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow. Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) issued a press release on Tuesday announcing the addition of seven chemicals to the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) under the European Union’s REACH Regulation.  [Update 6/20/11:  The formal addition of these substances to the candidate list, the initial announcement of which this post addressed, happened today.  See ECHA’s press release, which also contains some additional information about the uses of these chemicals.  The full candidate list including these seven substances is available here.]

All of the chemicals are officially classified as Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Reproductive toxicants (CMRs).  Their addition brings the total number of chemicals on the Candidate List to 53.  Adding a chemical to REACH’s Candidate List is the first step toward subjecting it to REACH’s Authorization process, whereby the chemical can be used only if specifically authorized by EU authorities.

In this brief post we present a bit more information on these latest seven SVHCs, including the extent of their presence in U.S. commerce and their main uses.  Read More »

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They paved paradise, all right, and with a potent human carcinogen to boot

Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

Imagine if someone spread a human carcinogen across millions of acres of land.  Then imagine that the carcinogen was found to be entering surface waters due to runoff from the treated acreage.  And then that the carcinogen was found to be accumulating in the dust in homes located near the treated acres.

Far-fetched?  Hardly.  Welcome to the good ol’ US of A.   Read More »

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Ripples of REACH: Chemicals policy changes in Japan, Turkey and South Korea

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow. Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

The November 31st deadline for the first batch of registrations under REACH (the European Union’s Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) may have passed, but life is far from dull on the international scene of chemicals policy.  As discussed in a previous post, chemicals policy enhancements are ramping up across the globe, many of them mirroring the innovations introduced under REACH.

In this post, we’ll discuss significant advances in Japan, Turkey and South Korea that drive home the message that the ripples from REACH are ever-widening.  Read More »

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One solid step for REACH, one giant leap for chemicals policy

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow. Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

While efforts to improve U.S. chemical safety legislation have been at, shall we say, a stand-still for the past few months, our European counterparts have been buzzing with activity.  U.S. NGOs, industry, regulators and lawmakers should be paying really close attention to all that buzz as they deliberate the shape of U.S. chemicals policy in the new Congress.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is currently in the thick of processing registrations received by the first major deadline under REACH, the European Union’s chemicals regulation for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals.  November 30, 2010 was the first of three deadlines for registering existing chemicals (termed “phase-in substances” under REACH); it applied to the highest-volume and most hazardous chemicals on the market.  Some 4,700 new and existing chemicals have now been registered under REACH since it took effect in mid-2008, including about 3,500 existing chemicals subject to that first deadline based on high volume or toxicity.

In contrast to Las Vegas, what is happening in Europe is not staying in Europe.  That alone makes it worth paying attention to.  Read More »

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No authorization, no market: REACH identifies first six chemicals to be phased out except for explicitly authorized uses

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow.  Richard Denison, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist.

The European Commission today identified the first six chemicals to be made subject to authorization under the European Union’s Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, or REACH.

The long road to today’s decision began in October 2008, when the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) identified these chemicals as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) and placed them on its Candidate List for chemicals potentially to be subject to authorization. Under REACH, a chemical qualifies as a SVHC as a result of being:  (1) carcinogenic, mutagenic, or a reproductive toxicant (CMR), (2) being persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT), (3) being very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB), or (4) being found to “give rise to an equivalent level of concern.”  Clearly these are the types of chemicals we want to pay attention to!

Today’s formal addition of these chemicals to REACH’s Annex XIV serves to notify manufacturers and importers that they must apply for, and obtain, authorization for specific uses of these chemicals if they want to continue using them beyond their designated sunset dates in 2014 and 2015.  It is of note that this rule applies to the chemicals in question regardless of their production volumes.   Read More »

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