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Editor-in-chief: Maurizio Roncaccia
Editors: Paul Trouth and Päivi Jokiniemi
Article related to: Editorial
What’s hot this summer?
Two of our scientific opinions have drawn a lot of media attention this spring. One of them was about the safety of recycled rubber granules that are widely used in artificial turf. The other was about the harmonised classification of glyphosate. It is now the European Commission’s turn to consider our scientific opinions and make risk management decisions on the substances. You can read more about both of these cases in this Newsletter.
In June, ECHA’s Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) is expected to give its final opinion on the restriction proposal submitted by ECHA and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency on four phthalates - bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP). They are used for example in floorings, recreational gear, footwear and office supplies, among others. In March, the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) agreed to the proposal with certain modifications. The compiled opinion of both committees will be sent to the Commission for final decision and then amendment of REACH Annex XVII. The four phthalates are classified as toxic to reproduction in category 1B.
Another substance widely used in consumer products is titanium dioxide. It is included, for example, in paints, plastics, adhesives, textiles, glassware and ceramics, food additives and cosmetics, just to mention some. France has submitted a proposal to harmonise its classification and labelling and categorise it as carcinogenic. After last summer’s public consultation, RAC will continue discussing the substance in its June meeting.
In addition to all the opinions that we have developed or are currently preparing, I would still like to mention the REACH 2018 registration deadline. There is only one year to go now. We have just held a special REACH 2018 “Spring School” – it was a week full of events and help for companies preparing to register chemicals. All the material is available for you on our website. I encourage you to take a look. And, if you can’t find your answers there, don’t hesitate to ask for help – the national helpdesks, sectoral association helpdesks and ECHA’s Helpdesk are there to guide you.
Finally, we will soon launch the first phase of the European Union Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON). The Commission officially asked us to develop and host the observatory in December last year. In June, we will publish the first phase of the new website that will include general information about nanomaterials, tell about their uses and safety, explain how the different regulations treat nanomaterials and give links to existing research on the topic. However, this is only the start of the observatory and more content will be added regularly over the coming years.