EU Commission consults on chemicals for proposed specific ban in clothes and textiles: the European Commission has opened a public consultation on a proposed process for rapidly banning possibly ‘CMR’ chemicals (carcinogenic, mutagenic, reproduction toxic) in a wide range of articles including both raw materials (textiles, fibres, synthetic leather, artificial furs …) and finished goods: clothing, footwear, swimwear, towels, accessories, interior textiles (curtains, table cloths, floor coverings …).
Real leather and furs are excluded. A first list of 291 substances to be considered is included in the consultation documents, including the following flame retardants: boron compounds, nickel compounds, TCEP, chlorinated paraffins. Deadline for response is 22nd January 2015.
EU consultation open to 22 January 2015 “Consultation on a possible restriction of hazardous substances (CMR 1A and 1B) in textile articles and clothing for consumer use” (published 22/10/2015) http://ec.europa.eu/growth
A report by RIVM (Netherlands, 2014), looking at 788 chemicals used in textiles, identified 32 as priorities, including the flame retardants TDCP, PrTPP (Isopropylated triphenyl phosphate), TCP, ATO (antimony trioxide), HBCD and THP urea condensate. A detailed assessment was carried out for ten of these. The report underlines that exposure information is the most important point for improving risk assessment of these chemicals, requiring data on concentrations in textiles and chemical migration out of the textile and development of an exposure model.
“Hazardous substances in textile products”, RIVM Report 2014-0155, Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport), 68 pages, in English
EU member states approve HBCD ban exemptions: the EU REACH Committee has voted to allow 13 companies to continue to use the flame retardant Hexabromocycldodecane (HBCD, banned from use in the EU since August 2014) in expanded polystyrene in building applications, subject to a number of specific risk management measures and reporting obligations. The use of HBCD is banned by the Stockholm Convention on POPs (persistent organic pollutants), with an exemption for use in buildings.
EU REACH Committee 21-22 October 2015, draft decision on HBCD.
Stockholm POPs Convention experts recommend global DecaBDE ban: the United Nations global experts of the Persistent Organic Chemicals Review Committee (PORC) have recommended the inclusion of the brominated flame retardant DecaBDE into Annex A of the Stockholm POPs Convention (Persistent Organic Pollutants). The experts recommended that governments could consider exemptions to this global ban in legacy spare parts for cars and aeroplanes, but that DecaBDE should be banned in plastics recycling. The final decision on these recommendations will be taken at the next Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention in 2017. The PORC committee also decided to move the chlorinated flame retardant SCCPs (short chain chlorinated paraffins) to the next stage of the process towards Convention listing by launching a risk management evaluation.
ECHA alternative flame retardant assessments: ECHA’s SEAC (European Chemical Agency, Social and Economic Analysis Committee) has adopted its final opinion that restriction of DecaBDE is appropriate, with derogations for some military applications and machinery spare parts only. ECHA has also published the assessment of alternatives to DecaBDE, annexed to the REACH proposal to restrict this substance. This report considered around 200 potential substitutes, but only presents in detail 13 FRs, of which 9 are PIN FRs. This list is short, because the assessment only included products which were already considered to be marketed and in use, and for which a REACH Registration had already been made: other products which may also become available for industrial application were not considered. The report indicates that only other brominated FRs can provide a “drop in” substitute in all applications, but states that concerns about the possible identification of EBP [ethane-1-2-bis(pentabromophenyl)] as a Substance of Very High Concern may affect company substitution policy. Effective non-brominated alternative FRs can each be effectively used in certain specific applications (e.g. polymers, certain fibres …).
ECHA “SEAC concludes on Bisphenol A, DecaBDE and PFOA restrictions and finalises two opinions for authorisation”, 15th September 2015
Alternatives assessment: ECHA Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) Background document to the Opinion on the Annex XV dossier proposing restrictions on Bis(pentabromophenyl) ether, 10 September 2015 http://echa.europa.eu/