ECHA Considering New Substance Restrictions

ECHA Considering New Substance Restrictions

Watch out — a laundry list of new restrictions on various chemicals could be coming to Europe, ranging from microplastics to cobalt salts used in battery manufacturing.

Currently, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has seven restrictions under consideration in the opinion development stage, with five restrictions still currently open for comment.

The comment period is currently open for proposed restrictions on the following substances:

Cobalt salts, which includes a restriction on manufacturing and placing the following substances onto the market: cobalt sulphate (CAS 10124-43-3), cobalt dinitrate (CAS 10141-05-6), cobalt dichloride (CAS 7646-79-9), cobalt carbonate (CAS 513-79-1) and cobalt di(acetate) (CAS 71-48-7). Cobalt salts may currently be used in chemical manufacturing, batteries, catalysts, pigments and dyes.

Formaldehyde (CAS 50-00-0) and formaldehyde releasers, which include urea formaldehyde (UF) resins (CAS 68002-18-6), phenol formaldehyde (PF) resins (CAS 68610-07-1), melamine formaldehyde (MF) resins (CAS 68002-20-0), polyoxymethilenes (POM) (CAS 66455-31-0), methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) (CAS 101-68-8), 1,4-butanediol (BDO) (CAS 110-63-4) and pentaerythritol (penta) (CAS 115-77-5). These substances may be used as insulation binders, or in wood-based products, laminates, surface coatings, automotive products and engine lubricants, housewares, packaging and textiles.

N,N-dimethylformamide (CAS 68-12-2), which can be used in fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals, polymers, textiles, leather and fur, non-metallic mineral products, perfumes/fragrances, throughout the petrochemical industry and as a laboratory agent. The restriction applies to the manufacturing and all industrial and professional uses of the substance.

Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) (CAS 556-67-2), decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) (CAS 541-02-6) and dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (D6) (CAS 540-97-6) as substances, as constituents of other substances, or in mixtures in a concentration equal to or greater than 0.1 percent weight by weight (w/w) of each substance. These substances have a wide range of uses, including in cosmetic products, as sealants and coatings, and in dry cleaning (D5).

Microplastics, which may be found in face wash and other personal care products.

The comment period is open until June 19, 2019, for cobalt salts and N,N-dimethylformamide, and September 20, 2019, for formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers, microplastics, and octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4), decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5) and dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (D6). Comments can be submitted by following the associated links in this paragraph.

Restrictions are also under consideration for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and substances used in tattoo inks and permanent makeup, though the comment periods for both have closed.

If restrictions are passed, companies will need to survey their supply chains to collect the necessary substance data. Full material disclosure (FMD) data, if collected, can be used to determine whether these substances are currently present in products.

The Assent Compliance Platform can be used to collect any substance data, including FMDs, from the supply chain. To learn more about Assent’s supply chain data management solution, email