Non-food legislation – March 2020

31 March 2020

More registered industrial chemicals in the world than estimated
ETH Zurich reports that an international team of researchers has conducted a global review of all registered industrial chemicals. They found that some 350,000 different substances are produced and traded around the world – well in excess of the 100,000 reached in previous estimates. For about a third of these substances, there is a lack of publicly accessible information. The study (1.66 MB) is published in Environmental Science and Technology.

New ECHA tools help companies comply
ECHA has announced the launch of the EU Chemicals Legislation Finder EUCLEF, giving companies access to an overview of 40 pieces of EU legislation they may need to comply with. ECHA has also developed a Practical Guide (197 kB) for registrants on how to characterise the uses of additives in plastic materials.
In 2019, ECHA increased the number of checks on companies’ chemical safety data by 50%.

ECHA has so far received a low number of registration dossiers for nanomaterials. By 1 January 2020, only 36 substances covering nanoforms have been registered according to the updated REACH requirements – 10% of what the Agency expected.
The Nanotechnology Industries Association (NIA) brings a spotlight to increasing use of the term ‘nanoplastics’ in reporting of plastics, primarily within an environmental context. In a position paper (1.21 MB), NIA urges caution and clarity when referring to plastics as small particles or fragments.

ISO standard on packaging for dangerous goods updated
ISO has published an update of ISO 16106 on packaging for dangerous goods. Developed to be used with ISO 9001, it is designed to meet the requirements of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods – known as the UN Model Regulations.

PFAS have been used since the 1940s. University of Arizona research, published in Water Resources Research (abstract) has found that the majority of PFAS are still moving slowly through the soil before reaching the groundwater. The Environmental Council of States (ECOS) has published a white paper (1.007 kB) outlining regulatory activities regarding PFAS in 23 US states. Scientists at the Environmental Working Group have conducted a review of 26 PFAS and found that all display at least one characteristic of known human carcinogens. The study (559 kB) is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. There is also some positive news. Researchers at the University of California – Riverside have found that excess electrons could help break the strong chemical bonds in PFAS that contaminate water. The study (abstract) is published in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.

Adults unintentionally make it easy for young children to eat dangerous pills
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than half of the time when children get into prescription pills, the medication has already been removed from the child-resistant container by an adult. The study (1.77 MB) is published in The Journal of Pediatrics.
The EC has recently published version 17 of the Q&A document (723 kB) on safety features for medicinal products for human use.

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