EuChemS attended the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) meeting of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in November which addressed several pressing issues. Significant topics under discussion included that of biodegrability, microplastics restrictions and its critical applications for human and environmental exposure caused by infill material for synthetic pitches.
Once again, microplastics were at the center stage. Stakeholders were invited during the meeting to better clarify the points of the proposed restriction on microplastics. No objection was made to exclude biodegradable microplastics from the restriction proposal. The issue at stake now is to implement efficient tests to give a definition of biodegradable microplastic. A series of OECD and ISO tests have been proposed. Two years would be required to obtain the results of such tests.
Further changes and decisions regarding the microplastic restrictions have been made. The three basic risk management components have been slightly modified to address the concerns raised by the placing on the market and intentional use of microplastics. They concern the following topics: complete ban, instructions for use requirements as well as reporting requirements.
The polymeric infill materials (end-of-life tires, synthetic elastomeric materials) used in sports fields are also concerned by the restriction.
You can find more details about this meeting here.