The European Union (EU) has announced its plans to expand the scope of lead restrictions under the EU’s Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (also known and the REACH Regulation).
What is REACH?
REACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, while enhancing the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. It also promotes alternative methods for the hazard assessment of substances in order to reduce the number of tests on animals.
The expansion includes the following:
In a Notification submitted to the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Commission proposed to amend a portion of Annex XVII of the Regulation dealing with lead restrictions. Especially, the proposed change would “prohibit the use of lead and lead compounds in articles produced from polymers or copolymers of vinyl chloride as well as their placing on the market of articles produced from PVC if the concentration of lead (expressed as metal) is equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight of the PVC material.”
When will the expansion take place?
Proposed date of adoption will be evaluated at the 3rd quarter of 2019.
Proposed date of entry into force will be 20 days from publication in the Official Journal of the EU. Application of the restriction on the placing of the market of the articles would be deferred for 24 months after entry into force.
In its Notification to the WTO, the Commission states that the proposed restriction would reduce the release of lead during the life of PVC articles and reduce direct and indirect exposure to lead.
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