Stay up-to-date with news about substitution!
In the news section, we will highlight initiatives and strategies for substitution, events as well as relevant news on chemical regulation. News will be provided in English and in German.
24th February 2016
Bisphenol A (BPA) classified as toxic
The EU Commission and EU Member States agreed to the classification of bisphenol A (BPA) from suspected to presumed human reproductive toxicant (category 1B).
BPA is considered by many scientists to be an endocrine disrupting chemical. Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that may interfere with the body’s endocrine system and produce adverse effects mainly linked with hormonal, fertility and developmental disorders.
The new classification is important as if a substance is classified as a category 1 reproductive toxicant, it can be nominated, as a substance of very high concern (SVHC). Listing of a substance as an SVHC is the first step in the procedure for restriction of its use and results in more stringent regulatory measures.
Go to: chemicalwatch.com
18th February 2016
20 Italian textile suppliers announced their commitment to Detox
20 companies from the Italian Prato textile district have signed up to the Greenpeace Detox campaign, which commits them to phasing out 11 chemical classes of concern, by 2020. They have set a list of all hazardous chemicals they should have eliminated from the supply chain by 2020 and have also defined shorter timelines to remove problematic hazardous chemicals including poly- and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).
The agreement will affect over 13 thousand tons of yarn and raw materials as well as over 13 million meters of fabric every year.
The Prato-based companies have already removed several hazardous chemical groups required by the Detox campaign, including brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, organotins, and amines associated with azo.
The suppliers join six major Italian textile companies, which signed up to the Detox campaign in 2014.
Go to: www.greenpeace
8th February 2016
Why opt for substitution
Replacing hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives can bring substantial benefits to the company, the environment and the health of workers and consumers – all good reasons to substitute them. ECHA and a group of accredited stakeholder organisations have organised a series of webinars aiming to inspire companies to substitute hazardous chemicals and explain how it can be done. All webinars include examples of real life substitution projects. The first webinar took place on 22. September 2015. The entire webinar can be watched here.
To access the presentations go to: echa.europa.eu
25th January 2016
France considers chemical substitution law
The green ecological party EELV in France introduced a proposal for a law in the French National Assembly to incentivise companies to substitute hazardous chemicals.
The proposal, known as DETOX, would create a list of hazardous chemicals that manufacturers, importers and users in France would have to report on every two years to the National Institute for Industrial Environment Risks.
The bill aims to encourage French companies to substitute the hazardous chemicals for less harmful substances through financial incentives, such as favourable tax measures.
The DETOX proposal still has to be considered in the upper house of the French parliament. If passed by both houses it would then need to be signed by the president and prime minister before becoming law.
Go to the DETOX proposal in French (Proposition de Loi)
Press release (French or English)
20th January 2016
Proposal for a national ban on plastic microbeads in cosmetic products
The Swedish Chemicals Agency has been assigned to produce a national programme of measures for highly fluorinated substances. As part of this task the Swedish Chemicals Agency has carried out a survey of the occurrence and use of highly fluorinated substances and alternative substances and materials. Highly fluorinated substances (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, PFAS) are used in many different articles and chemical products due to their attractive properties. They are repellent to water, grease, and dirt, temperature resistant and film-forming. However, other less desirable properties are their extreme persistence in the environment, and that several of them accumulate in living organisms and can be toxic.
The aim of the survey is to give a clearer picture of where highly fluorinated substances are currently used and what alternative substances, materials and technologies are available.
The survey is presented in this Report (English)
20th December 2015
Five new substances of very high concern added to the Candidate List
17.12.2015, The Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) for authorisation now contains 168 substances. ECHA has added five new SVHCs to the Candidate List due to the carcinogenic, toxic to reproduction, persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT), and very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) properties of the substances. The decision to include perfluorononan-1-oic acid and its sodium and ammonium salts was taken with the involvement of the Member State Committee.
10th September 2015
One of four Body Lotions contains unwanted chemicals
The content of hazardous chemicals is particularly critical in body lotions because body lotions are a product that stays on the skin for many hours.
The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals has examined the list of ingredients on 54 body lotions on the Danish market, including many international brands. The examination reveals that 13 body lotions – 24% – contain unwanted substances. These substances are allergenic preservatives and substances which have shown endocrine disrupting effects in animal studies.
16 body lotions received the best possible marking, and 24 only received an average rating due to their content of perfume, perfumed substances or plant extracts which all are known allergens.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals are suspected to cause several ailments such as declining semen quality in boys and early puberty in girls.
The test results (in Danish) can be found here kemi.taenk.dk/bodylotion
More about the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals work (in English) can be found here: http://kemi.taenk.dk/english
3rd July 2015
Chemical Management Guide for textiles
A new chemical management guide for textiles has been launched by ChemSec. The guide is a starting point for small and medium-sized textile enterprises to manage the chemicals present in their processes and products.
Chemical management is a three step process:
• Find chemicals
• Evaluate them
• Act to replace the hazardous ones
All successful chemical substitution stories presented by the Chemical Management Guide are located at SUBSPORT.
Go to: http://textileguide.chemsec.org/
11th September 2014
A Serbian version of the GHS Column Model as an aid to selecting substitute substances is now available
Realised by the NGO ALHem – Safer Chemicals Alternative – the Serbian translation of the GHS Column Model is now freely availble on SUBSPORT and on the ALHem website. The Column Model is a simplified method to make a preliminary comparison between the risks of different substances and products and offer a quick judgment on the convenience of substitution. The developer of the GHS Column Model, the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance IFA, welcomes the fact that the method is now avaible for a wider user group. This collaboration was possible due to the Serbia Substitutes project, which was financed by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade.
Go to: GHS Column Model description on SUBSPORT or www.alhem.rs or directly to the GHS Column Model in Serbian
2nd July 2014
Workplace chemicals: ETUI puts RISCTOX database online
The European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) has joined with the Spanish Trade Union Institute ISTAS to develop the RISCTOX chemicals database. Workers can now access data cards through the ETUI website on 100,000-odd chemicals, many thousands of which can cause cancer, allergies, disrupt the hormonal system or put the reproductive system at risk.
Each card specifies the chemicals classification and labelling under the regulations, its main work uses (solvent, cleaner, paint stripper, etc.), how it affects health, and the occupational diseases it causes.
Go to: www.etui.org or the RISCTOX database