The European Chemical Society attended the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) online meeting of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in June which addressed several pressing issues. Significant topics were discussed, including microplastics restrictions.
On 10 June 2020, after 15 months of joint work together with Member State representatives, ECHA’s Committee on Risk Assessment (RAC) reached a final opinion on microplastics restriction and supports restricting the use of intentionally added microplastics in EU/EEA products, in concentrations of more than 0.01% by weight.
“microplastic” means particles containing solid polymer, to which additives or other substances may have been added, and where ≥ 1% w/w of particles have (i) all dimensions ≤ 5mm, or (ii), for fibers, a length of ≤ 15mm and length to diameter ratio of >3
Comments received through public consultations were considered, as well as a complex evaluation on the derogation of biodegradable polymers with an examination on biodegradability tests and the evaluation of applications, such as infill material on synthetic sports turf pitches).
Since the risk assessment of microplastic is complicated by current uncertainties in relation to hazards, fate, exposure and risks, further research will be needed to address all the identified uncertainties.
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The RAC has also adopted its opinion on ECHA’s proposal on the recommendation for a BGV (Biological Guidance Value) for lead and its compounds.
EuChemS is an official accredited stakeholder of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Learn more about it here.