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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.
19th July 2013

Substitution of Hazardous Substances – Alternatives Identification and Assessment Training

The search for substitutes for hazardous materials and the assessment of the alternative substances are key steps of a substitution process and are the focus of this training. Guided by experienced trainers you will learn interactively in small groups about basic concepts and tools, which will be applied to practical examples. The training will be held in German.

Where: Kooperationsstelle Hamburg IFE GmbH, Humboldtstraße 67a, 22767 Hamburg
When: 12 September 2013, 9:00 – 17:00 (more…)

17th June 2013

5th global Helsinki Chemicals Forum

The 5th global Helsinki Chemicals Forum will take place on 18-19 June 2013 in Helsinki, Finland. The Helsinki Chemicals Forum is an independent forum engaging international authorities, politicians, industry leaders, NGOs, academics and the media in an open dialogue on key issues of global relevance regarding chemicals policy and the control of chemicals safety. The Helsinki Chemicals Forum is organised by the Chemicals Forum Association, in co-operation with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the European Commission, the European Chemical Industry Council CEFIC and the Finnish Government.

The 5th Helsinki Chemicals Forum will focus on chemical safety, based on the following five panel discussions:

Panel 1: The 2020 Goals and the Sound International Management of Chemicals
Panel 2: Chemicals in Products
Panel 3: Regulation of Nano-Materials
Panel 4: Listing Chemicals of Concern
Panel 5: Combination Effects

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24th May 2013

“Substitution under REACH – authorisation procedure or substitution?” workshop organised by the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA)

The German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) organised a workshop “Substitution under REACH – authorisation procedure or substitution?”, which took place in Dortmund, on 25 April 2013. The workshop focused on the challenges posed on companies using substances subject to authorisation. Rémi Lefevre from the European Commission, DG Environment advised participants to look at the cost of developing alternatives verses the cost of applying for authorisation. Lothar Lissner from SUBSPORT was invited to present SUBSPORT – the portal to support companies in substitution.

The presentations can be found at the BAuA Website (German).

8th May 2013

Use of toxic chemical HBCD severely restricted under Stockholm Convention

The flame retardant HBCD (hexabromocyclododecane) has become the 23rd substance to be banned under Annex A of the international Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) at the sixth Conference of Parties (CoP 6) to the treaty in Geneva.  HBCD, a brominated flame retardant, is widely used in building insulation, upholstery and electronics in the European Union. The chemical hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) is a persistent bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) chemical. It has adverse effects on the development of the nerve system and mental abilities of children and can also disrupt the hormone system.

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30th April 2013

Hazardous chemicals in textiles – Sweden proposes amendment to textiles regulation

The Swedish Chemicals Agency (Kemikalieinspektionen) has been assigned by the Swedish government to further develop the idea of a coherent piece of EU legislation on hazardous chemicals in textiles. Large quantities of chemicals are used in the manufacture of textiles. Some of these chemicals are harmful to human health and the environment and, for example, cause allergic reactions or are persistent or bioaccumulating. In order to obtain a more cohesive handling of chemicals in textiles, there is a need for regulation at the EU level. In this report the Textile Fibre Regulation (EC) No 1007/2011 is presented as the main regulatory option to be considered, but other alternative ways to regulate chemicals in textiles are also discussed.

Go to the report:

25th April 2013

Argentina / City of Rosario agreed to replace chemicals in hospitals

Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) and Global Green and Healthy Hospitals Founding Member, Rosario’s Department of Public Health signed an agreement to promote the substitution of hazardous chemicals in hospitals for safer alternatives. The agreement is a component of an HCWH project financed by UNEP’s Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management—SAICM to model sound chemicals management in the healthcare sector. Health Care Without Harm is an international organisation which shares a vision of a health care sector that does no harm, and instead promotes the health of people and the environment.

Go to: (in Spanish)

18th April 2013

Bisphenol A : ANSES highlights the health risks and confirms the need to reduce exposure

ANSES published a report on the results of its assessment of the health risks associated with bisphenol A, that followed the report of hazard identification issued in September 2011, which focuses on the toxicological profile of other substances from the family of bisphenols and of several alternatives available to BPA. The report is accompanied by three other reports: state of the art report of possible alternatives for bisphenol A; a hazard assessment for other substances of the bisphenol family; and a report on the uncertainties concerning endocrine disruptors. The report confirms the health effects of bisphenol A identified by the Agency in September 2011, particularly for pregnant women in terms of potential risks to the unborn child. For the first time, it takes into account an estimate of the population’s actual exposure to bisphenol A not only by ingestion through food, but also by inhalation and dermal absorption.

Go to: or to the report (in French) volume 1 and volume 2

Endocrine disruptors in personal care products

Together with three European consumer organisations the Danish Consumer Council tested 66 personal care products for the concentration of a total of 11 different substances – all of which are suspected of being endocrine disruptors. All tested products contained one or more of these 11 substances.

Go to: (in Danish) or (in French)

15th April 2013

EU slashes emissions of sulphur from ships

The Danish Presidency has secured an ambitious agreement between the institutions of EU on March 23. The new requirements will dramatically reduce the harmful smoke from ships. The smoke stacks on ships will emit 90 percent less sulphur in a few years. Ships are among the largest emitters of air pollution in Europe. The pollution leads to 50.000 premature deaths in Europe each year, and causes acid rain which destroys the ecosystems.

Go to: :

Swedish proposal to restrict lead in consumer articles

Sweden has proposed a restriction of lead and its compounds in consumer articles. The Swedish proposal was submitted to ECHA in January 2013. Sweden is proposing to restrict lead in articles that can be put into the mouth by young children, such as clothing, shoes, accessories, furnishings, decorations, and sports and leisure articles.

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