…Proposal for REACH restriction of five phenylmercury compounds

An Annex XV restriction report prepared by the Norwegian Competent Authority reviews the health and environmental effects of five phenylmercury compounds (phenylmercury acetate, phenylmercury propionate, phenylmercury 2-ethylhexanoate, phenylmercuric octanoate and phenylmercury neodecanoate). The report recommends that these substances should not be manufactured, placed on the market or used as a substance or in mixtures in a concentration above 0.01% (w/w), as they can form hazardous products when degraded in the environment. Phenylmercury compounds are used mainly as catalysts in the production of polyurethane coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers, and to allow time for suitable alternatives to be found, the Norwegian authorities have suggested a five-year phase out period. Although comments can be submitted until 24 March 2011, interested parties are encouraged to make their views known by 24 December 2010, so that the comments can be taken into account at the meeting of the Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) scheduled for January 2011. For further information, or to comment on the proposals, visit on the ECHA website. {186348}

…Harmonised classification and labelling proposed for coal tar pitch

Human health and environmental hazard assessments are provided in a proposal submitted by the Dutch authorities to standardise the classification and labelling of high temperature coal tar pitch. Under EC Regulation No. 1272/2008 on Classification, Labelling and Packaging, there is a legal obligation for suppliers to evaluate the hazards of chemicals (substances and mixtures) placed on the market, and to classify and label them appropriately. An option also exists for Member State Competent Authorities or industry to ask for the classification and labelling of a substance to be harmonised across Europe, whereupon ECHA organises a public consultation period of 45 days. Under this scheme, interested parties have until 15 November 2010 to comment on the Dutch proposal on coal tar pitch. Visit to view the proposal, or to submit comments. {186424}

…ECHA to review guidance on substance identity

As explained in News Alert ECHA/NA/10/54 (dated 29 September 2010), ECHA has a rolling process of reviewing the guidance that it provides for registrants and other stakeholders. The guidance on substance identification is now due for review and this process will begin early in 2011, after the first registration deadline. ECHA has previously produced a short section on the evaluation of crystalline forms as part of Practical Guide 11 on substance identity. This was intended to provide more detailed information to stakeholders on how ECHA will approach the evaluation of different crystalline forms in registrations, within the framework provided by the guidance. However, Practical Guide 11 was later withdrawn because parts of it were open to misinterpretation. As a review of the guidance itself will now take place, ECHA has decided not to re-publish Practical Guide 11, but to await the outcome of the review before deciding whether such detailed information is necessary and, if so, the way in which it should be presented (consult News Alert ECHA/NA/10/54 at http://echa.europa.eu/news/na/201009/na_20100929_en.asp for further details).

…Experts’ workshop on dealing with uncertainty of non-test methods

This workshop, held on 23-24 September 2010, concentrated on how to deal with scientific uncertainties when non-test methods are used for predicting intrinsic properties within the context of the regulatory decision making process. Material and presentations from the Workshop “Dealing with uncertainty of non-test methods under REACH” can now be accessed electronically by visiting http://echa.europa.eu/news/events/non_test_methods_workshop_2010_en.asp on the ECHA website.

…Other REACH documents of interest

New version of Technical Completeness Check plugin available (http://echa.europa.eu/news/na/201009/na_10_56_tcc_update_20100930_en.asp).

ECHA offers support to registrants in exceptional cases (http://echa.europa.eu/news/pr/201009/pr_10_19_dcg_20100927_en.asp).

Directors’ Contact Group. Summary paper on 28 issues and solutions (http://echa.europa.eu/doc/reach/echa_dcg_solutions_summary_en.pdf).

Calculate your REACH fees – IUCLID plugin available (http://echa.europa.eu/news/na/201009/na_20100921_en.asp).

Presentations available from ECHA’s Fifth Stakeholders’ Day covering: Registration and classification and labelling notification; Registration, evaluation and notification – best practice; and Authorisation – how to select candidate substances (http://echa.europa.eu/news/events/5th_stakeholders_day_en.asp).

The above items were taken from the November 2010 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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