Non-food legislation – March 2023

06 April 2023

Hazardous substances – Rules and regulations in the EU
ECHA reports that the restriction of certain perfluorocarboxylic acids (C9-C14 PFCAs) – a subgroup of PFAS – started applying on 25 February 2023. FPF reports that the EU Court of Justice has ruled that ECHA’s identification of bisphenol A (BPA) as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) was justified.
ECHA’s revised guidance on monomers and polymers (442 kB) includes changes to the description of registration obligations. ECHA has updated the European product categorisation system (EuPCS) and ECHA has also updated recommendations to REACH registrants.
A briefing by EEA highlights the importance of delivering on key actions, foreseen in the EC’s chemicals strategy for sustainability. Part of this strategy is a revision of the CLP Regulation. The EP recently published a briefing (695 kB) on the implementation of this regulation. Within the Forever Pollution Project, Le Monde and partners have created the Forever Pollution Map to show the extent of Europe's contamination by PFAS. NL: Recently, a House of Representatives committee debate (in Dutch) on PFAS and health effects took place.

Hazardous substances – Rules and regulations outside the EU
Japan: SGS reports that the government has launched a consultation on its draft measure to regulate PFHxS. New Zealand: EPA has launched a consultation on its proposal to restrict PFHxS. US: EPA has released a proposed approach for considering cumulative risks under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). In many cases people are exposed to multiple chemicals with similar effects at the same time. In some of these cases, EPA believes that the best approach may be to look at the combined risk to health from these chemicals. Safer States has published an analysis (16.82 MB) of anticipated state-level policies on rules and regulations for hazardous substances.

Other rules and regulations
The EC has launched a UDI Helpdesk to help economic operators implement the unique device identification requirements.
The EC reports that on 7 March 2023 the EU Council adopted the proposal to give notified bodies and manufacturers more time to certify medical devices and thereby mitigate the risk of shortages. A week later the decision was published in the OJ.

Research and other developments
ChemSec has added 370 PFAS to its Substitute It Now list (SIN list) bringing the total number of PFAS on the list up to 416. A new ASTM subcommittee will develop standardised approaches to measure PFAS in different types of consumer products.
In a study (848 kB) published in Plos One, Aesculap researchers analyse different sources of microorganisms in the air, on reusable surgical instruments, and on the outer surface of sterile packaging systems.
New research from King’s College London has found that standardised packaging may reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes (vape) among teenagers without affecting their appeal among adults.
FPF reports on a Fraunhofer IVV study (8.33 MB) published in Recycling, evaluating post-consumer recyclates for their absorbed chemicals, with a focus on NIAS, and their toxicity.
Nanoplastics pass from pregnant rats to their unborn children and may impair foetal development, according to a Rutgers study that suggests the same process happens in humans. In a recent article, FPF reports on a number studies on the presence of microplastics in humans.

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