Non-food legislation – April 2021

04 May 2021

Chemicals - rules and regulations
EU: The Council has approved the new EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. ECHA has revised the Guidance on safety data sheets in line with the latest version of Annex II to REACH. The revision includes updated information on nanoforms, the unique formula identifier (UFI) and endocrine disrupting properties. French agency ANSES has proposed listing bisphenol B as a REACH substance of very high concern (SVHC). The identification dossier was available for public consultation until 23 April 2021. Canada: The government has introduced a bill to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). A summary of key amendments can be found here. US: EPA has released an updated toxicity assessment for perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), part of a larger group of PFAS. The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) reports that 67 PFAS science experts have submitted a letter (126 kB) to the EPA calling on the agency to institute a class-based ban on all PFAS except essential uses. Additionally, six organisations also submitted a letter (94 kB). Keller and Heckman reports that the Californian OEHHA intends to list PFOA as known to cause cancer under Proposition 65. CDC has published Updated Tables, March 2021 for the National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals. The four volumes present nationally representative and cumulative biomonitoring data gathered from 1999-2000 through 2015-2016.

Chemicals - research
Exposure to phthalates, a class of chemicals used in packaging and consumer products, is known to interfere with normal hormone function and development in human and animal studies. Now researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found evidence linking pregnant women’s exposure to phthalates to altered cognitive outcomes in their infants. An article (3.02 MB) about the research is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Scientists at UC San Francisco have detected 109 chemicals in a study of pregnant women, including 55 chemicals never before reported in people and 42 “mystery chemicals,” whose sources and uses are unknown. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Environmental Science & Technology.
FPF reports that The Guardian has published an article in which author Tom Perkins investigated the presence PFAS in several household items in the US as well as in his own blood.

US FDA guidance glass vials and stoppers during COVID-19 pandemic
Many FDA-regulated human drugs related to COVID-19 use glass vials and stoppers as their primary container closure system (CCS). Recently FDA published a guidance (235 kB) entitled COVID-19 Container Closure System and Component Changes: Glass Vials and Stoppers Guidance for Industry.

Standardised packaging of tobacco products – consumer response in the UK
Standardised packaging of tobacco products has now been fully implemented in 15 countries. However, there is limited evidence, apart from in Australia, on how consumers have responded to the policy. In an article (1.54 MB) published in Risk Management and Healthcare Policy, University of Stirling researchers explore the response in the UK.

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