Dechlorane Plus (DP) is an additive flame retardant widely used in polymer materials such as plastics and fibers due to its excellent colorability, thermal stability, outstanding electrical properties, and low smoke emission. However, as significant risks of exposure to humans and the environment associated with DP have been confirmed, various regions globally have initiated actions to control this substance. Many export-oriented electronic product companies have already started supply chain investigations regarding this substance.
Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released enforcement actions taken nationwide in 2023 to protect children and their families from health hazards associated with exposure to lead paint. Cases included an Indiana contractor sentenced to jail for violating lead paint regulations and a renovation company in Anchorage, Alaska fined $25,609. EPA's enforcement actions aim to ensure that remodeling contractors, landlords, property management companies, and real estate agents comply with rules safeguarding the public from lead exposure in paint.
Recently, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment, and Water Resources (DCCEEW) in Australia proposed to include several brominated flame retardant chemicals in the Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standards (IChEMS) register. Substances that may cause serious or irreversible harm to the environment but have essential industrial uses are proposed to be included in Appendix 6 of IChEMS while substances causing serious or irreversible harm to the environment and without essential industrial uses are included in Appendix 7 of IChEMS.
On September 28, 2023, U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an important new rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), requiring manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to provide more data for better regulation. PFASs are a large class of chemically stable organic fluorides known for their water and stain resistance, as well as good insulation. They find extensive use in various industrial sectors, including food packaging, electronics, leather and apparel, construction and household applications, firefighting, and medical supplies. However, PFASs are persistent and migrate in the environment, making them difficult to degrade. They are also called persistent chemicals and have posed a significant threat to human health and the ecological environment.
The 19th meeting of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC-19) was held from October 9 to 13, 2023, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy. During this meeting, scientists unanimously recommended that the following two groups of chemicals be considered hazardous and proposed their inclusion in Annex A of the Stockholm Convention: 1. Chlorinated paraffins with a carbon chain length in the range of C14-17 and a chlorine content equal to or greater than 45% (by weight), commonly known as medium-chain chlorinated paraffins or MCCPs. 2. Long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCAs), their salts, and related compounds.
On September 27, 2023, EU made updates to its REACH Regulation in its amendments Regulation (EU) 2023/2055. This amendment introduced Article 78 to Annex XVII of the REACH regulation (EU No 1907/2006), which pertains to restrictions on synthetic polymer particles (microplastics). Additionally, it included rules for degradability certification in Appendix 15 and solubility certification in Appendix 16. This regulation will come into effect on October 17, 2023.
On September 1, 2023, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) proposed to include the following six substances in the list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). ECHA has now opened a public commen, which will last until October 16, 2023. If approved, these substances will be formally added to the SVHC list, becoming the 30th batch of SVHC substances.
On August 8, 2023, the European Commission issued the revised amendment (EU) 2023/1608 to the European Union Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation (EU) 2019/1021. This amendment officially designates PFHxS and its salts, as well as related substances, to be listed in Annex I of the EU POPs Regulation. The revised regulation will come into effect on the 20th day from the date of publication in the official journal and will be applicable to all member states.
Hangzhou CIRS C&K Testing Technology Co., Ltd. officially inaugurated its new toxicology laboratory in August. Located in the Tianhe High-tech Industrial Park in the Binjiang District of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, this lab is to provide toxicological tests and research services to industries such as cosmetics, medical devices, health products, specialty foods, and pharmaceuticals.