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Five nations support PFAS restrictions

Following three years of investigations into the uses of and risks posed to human health and the environment by polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), the national authorities of Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have concluded that these risks are not adequately controlled. They have therefore submitted a proposal to ECHA to restrict them under REACH.

ECHA proposes PFAS foam ban

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has brought forward a proposal to ban all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in fire-fighting foams in the EU. A six-month consultation period with stakeholders will begin on 23 March.

This follows an investigation the agency carried out at the request of the European Commission into the strengths and weaknesses of five different options. It concluded that the risks posed by PFASs are currently not adequately controlled and that releases should be minimised.

UK REACH deadline to be extended

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced that it has committed to “exploring alternative arrangements for UK REACH transitional registrations … in order to support chemical businesses whilst upholding the highest standards to safeguard public health and the environment”.

New biobased partnership starts

Council Regulation (EU) 2021/2085 of 19 November 2021 has established the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE JU). This is a €2 billion partnership between the European Union and the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) that funds projects advancing competitive circular bio-based industries in Europe.

Feature article: CEFIC responds to Chemical Strategy for Sustainability

Europe's main trade association for chemicals gave a mixed greeting to the European Commissions's new sustainability strategy

The European Commission (EC) has published a new Chemical Strategy for Sustainability and invited the European Parliament and the Council to endorse this and to contribute to its implementation. It envisages revising REACH “in the most targeted way possible”, while also taking other initiatives to improve legislation.

CEFIC: Increase in non-compliant article imports

According to an analysis by CEFIC of data reported through the EU’s Safety Gate, 2020 saw a steep increase in imports of hand sanitisers that were not compliant with the EU chemicals safety rules. These were either not marked as flammable or containing methanol, as required by EU Classification & Labelling rules, or had insufficient ethanol to kill viruses, as required by the Biocides Regulation, CEFIC noted.

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