- Second REACH registration deadline a success
- Nearly 3 000 more substances registered by industry
- REACH 2013 - From our stakeholders
- Explaining REACH: Restricting substances – how is it done?
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- From an exchange platform to providing practical solutions
- What do exposure scenarios look like in reality?
- Promoting substitution under REACH, CLP and the Biocidal Products Regulation
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- Setting scientific principles for sediment risk assessment
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Article related to: Communicating about safety
From an exchange platform to providing practical solutions
The fourth meeting of the Exchange Network on Exposure Scenarios (ENES) in May was built around the Chemical Safety Report/Exposure Scenario (CSR/ES) Roadmap, which was presented for the first time to a wider stakeholder group. The aim of the roadmap is to set out clear actions for improving the quality of information in the chemical safety reports and the extended safety data sheets, both of which are built around the exposure scenario.
"It is not enough that the information in the chemical safety reports and exposure scenarios is legally correct – it also has to be useful for the registrants, downstream users and authorities. The information that downstream users get through the extended safety data sheets is of variable quality in terms of amount of detail, conflicting or even absent information. A cross-stakeholder coordination group has developed the CSR/ES Roadmap to address these quality concerns so that those who use chemicals have the right information available, in the right level of detail and in a consistent and familiar format. The ultimate goal is that this information is used effectively to ensure that these chemicals are used safely" says ECHA's Andrew Murray.
Through the Chemical Safety Report/Exposure Scenario Roadmap, the ENES is bringing stakeholders together to manage issues related to chemical safety assessment.
The roadmap was well received by the participants and they expressed their commitment to work on the actions identified in the document. Altogether, the roadmap has five broad areas of actions, which will be taken forward either by ECHA or by industry associations, and in certain specific cases Member States. All other stakeholders are invited to contribute. "One of the main actions is to improve the understanding of the elements of chemical safety reports and exposure scenarios, and raising awareness of their purpose. Our idea is to have specific workshops to talk through what the essential information requirements are and what benefits they bring," Dr Murray explains.
ECHA will also take the lead on developing and improving IT tools related to supporting chemical safety assessments, another area of action of the roadmap. This work is already on-going for Chesar and IUCLID at ECHA. Within industry work on tools they have to communicate exposure scenarios in an electronic format down the supply chain (such as the ESCom) proceeds.
The Downstream Users of Chemicals Coordination Group (DUCC) has agreed to take the lead on mixtures, addressing the concerns of formulators of mixtures and the end users. "We are looking to help formulators to better understand how to take the information from the substance safety data sheets and process it so that it is suitable for a mixture. As for those who use mixtures, they need to get the right level of information in a format which is both fit for their use and understandable," Dr Murray says.
Through the roadmap, the ENES is bringing stakeholders together to manage issues related to chemical safety assessment. "We are constantly looking for more sectors under this umbrella, so that they could all contribute and make use of the outcomes. We would like to create a genuine cross-stakeholder group where the solutions that people have worked through can be presented and assessed on whether they are workable and can be used," Andrew Murray says.
The CSR/ES Roadmap will be published during summer. To accompany it, ECHA will publish a specific web page with the aim of keeping stakeholders up-to-date with the various actions under the roadmap. The roadmap actions will be rolling until 2016 with actions in place for the last REACH registration deadline of 2018.
Development on SCEDs
The ENES4 dedicated a session to specific consumer exposure determinants (SCEDs). The SCEDs are helping companies to refine the inputs for exposure estimation for consumers, so that people have a more accurate estimation of impact and how to control it. Industry has been working on developing SCEDs for the past 18 months and the current status of development was presented to ENES4 participants.
The Member State competent authorities play an important role in developing SCEDs, since they monitor and enforce the legislation and will have an eye on how the registrants have carried out their assessment. "This is an area where there needs to be further dialogue between industry and competent authorities. We are now starting to set up working meetings to have that exchange," Dr Murray says.
ECHA will follow the development of SCEDs closely and ultimately make the import of SCED data possible in its own assessment tool Chesar.
ENES5 to concentrate on mixtures
The next meeting of ENES will be held in late autumn and the main topic will relate to mixtures. "Formulators are conscious that after the REACH 2013 registration deadline, they will start receiving a lot of information on substances through the extended safety data sheets, which they then have to take into account when preparing safety data sheets (or risk management advice) for mixtures. At the ENES4 meeting, participants identified the top priorities regarding mixtures. The stakeholders intend to work together to resolve them and potentially present workable solutions at the autumn meeting," Dr Murray concludes.
- Programme, summaries and presentations
- What is ENES?
- Moving forward with exposure scenarios, Newsletter 6/2012
- ENES discusses good practice in deriving and communicating exposure scenarios, Newsletter 4/2012
Interview by Hanna-Kaisa Torkkeli
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Biocidal Products Committee:
26 February-1 March
Committee for Risk Assessment:
6-8 March and
Committee for Socio-Economic
Management Board meeting:
23-27 March (tentative)
Member State Committee:
20-24 April (tentative)