Non-food legislation – March 2024

09 April 2024

Hazardous substances – Rules and regulations in the EU
ECHA reports that the member states have voted in favour of restricting PFHxA, its salts and related substances during the EC REACH committee meeting on 29 February 2024. The draft regulation will now be subject to a three-month scrutiny by the EP and the Council before it can be adopted by the EC.
SGS reports that ECHA has launched a consultation on the listing of bis(α,α-dimethylbenzyl) peroxide and triphenyl phosphate as substances of very high concern (SVHCs). Comments are being accepted until 15 April 2024. If approved, the number of SVHCs on the Candidate List will expand from 240 entries to 242 entries.
Following the screening of a large number of comments received during the consultation, ECHA has clarified the next steps for the proposal to restrict PFAS under REACH.
ECHA has performed REACH compliance checks of approximately 15 000 registrations between 2009 and 2023, representing 21% of full registrations.
The EP has published a briefing on the revision of the CLP regulation.

Hazardous substances – Rules and regulations in the UK
The government has published its rationale for prioritising substances in the UK REACH work programme for 2023-2024. One of the five priorities is to start preparing a restriction dossier on PFAS in fire-fighting foams and to assess potential additional restrictions on uses of PFAS.

Research on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)
A recent report (1.97 MB) by the Endocrine Society and IPEN provides an overview of the state of the science around endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). The report raises new concerns about the profound threats to human health from EDCs that are ubiquitous in our surroundings and everyday lives.
MIT researchers have developed a sensor that detects tiny quantities of PFAS in water and researchers from the University of Rochester have developed a new method to clean up PFAS pollution in water.

Microplastics and health issues - research
Micro- and nano-plastics, which have broken off from larger pieces of plastic, reach our food chain and bodies through water and soil. A laboratory study by WUR shows that immune cells absorb more of these plastic particles than assumed.
The Ocean Conservancy partnered with researchers from the University of Toronto to study sixteen commonly consumed meat, fish and plant-based products for microplastic contamination. Microplastics were found in all of the products and 88% of the samples. Based on the results, the researchers estimate that the average US adult could consume up to 3.8 million microplastics annually from the combined average intake of thirteen protein products. The research (1.78 MB) is published in Environmental Pollution.
Researchers have found more than 16,000 different chemicals in plastics. About a quarter of these chemicals can be hazardous to health and the environment. A new report from the PlastChem project (240 kB) identifies plastic chemicals of concern and highlights approaches towards safer plastics. The lead author is NTNU professor Martin Wagner.

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