On November 15, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the release of the first of its draft risk evaluations for the first 10 chemicals being reviewed under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The draft risk evaluation is for a chemical called Pigment Violet 29 (PV29). One notable aspect of this chemical is how few hazard studies have been conducted.
Pigment Violet 29 (Anthra[2,1,9-def:6,5,10-d′e′f′] diisoquinoline-1,3,8,10(2H,9H)-tetrone) (pigment violet 29) is a perylene derivative used to color materials and as an intermediate for other perylene pigments. The pigment is utilized as an intermediate to create or adjust the color of other pigments, as well as in commercial paints, coatings, plastics, and rubber products. C.I. Pigment Violet 29 is an organic pigment that has a low solubility, low volatility, is expected to be highly persistent and has low bioaccumulation potential in fish and other animals.
Information about the problem formulation and scope phases of the risk evaluation for this chemical is available at https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/risk-evaluation-pigment-violet-29-anthra219-def6510.
Industry watchdogs have previously voiced this concern during public comment periods, noting that PV29 lacked data on chronic effects. PV29 does not have the minimum amount of information deemed by international authorities as necessary to conduct even a screening-level assessment of a chemical’s hazards, let alone a full risk evaluation. Unfortunately, EPA has not taken steps to fill these major data gaps and as a result the new draft includes no additional data. Despite the lack of data, EPA has declared the chemical safe.
EPA is seeking public comment on the draft risk evaluation for PV29 to determine whether it presents an unreasonable risk to health or the environment under the conditions of use. EPA is also submitting these same documents to the TSCA Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC), which will peer review the draft risk evaluation. Comments need to be submitted no later than January 14, 2019. Unfortunately the current government shutdown impacts this action.
Posted by Helen Gillespie
New rules have come into effect in Canada that ban the import, sale and use of asbestos, as well as the manufacturing, import, sale and use of asbestos in most products containing asbestos.
In force as of December 30, 2018, the ban applies to products that are already in a company’s inventory and prevent businesses from acquiring any new products with asbestos. In addition, the export of asbestos and asbestos-containing products is now prohibited, with a limited number of exceptions.
The regulations do not apply to residues left from mining asbestos. However, these asbestos-mining residues cannot be sold for use in construction or landscaping without provincial authorization, and they cannot be used to make a product that contains asbestos. The mining of asbestos in Canada ceased in 2011.
Asbestos was declared a human carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1987, and can cause diseases including asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer.
“When it comes to asbestos, the science is clear: breathing in asbestos fibres can cause serious health problems, including cancer,” said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, federal minister of health, when the ban was announced in October 2018. “These regulations will help protect Canadians by ensuring that there is no market for asbestos or products containing asbestos, in Canada.”
Reported by Leslie Burt, Chemical Matters
Before ECHA’s current multi-annual work program ended in 2018 — the same year which marked the third registration deadline under REACH — ECHA worked closely with its partners and stakeholders to define future strategy. The result was the adoption of ECHA’s Multi-Annual Strategy for 2019-2023, which defines ECHA’s priorities and implementation plans, during the December Management Board meeting.
Sharon McGuinness, the Chair of the Management Board, states that “This strategy goes a long way in preparing ECHA for the next five years but also for the long-term future – with many challenges ahead such as the new Financial Framework of the EU and the UK withdrawal from the Union. We are entering a period where ECHA will play a key role in implementing the recommendations of the Commission’s REACH Refit evaluation, as well as take on new tasks. It is very important to have clarity on our mission and have the right priorities in place, so that all our stakeholders can rely on them.”
The new strategy identifies three strategic priorities:
- Identification and risk management of substances of concern.
- Safe and sustainable use of chemicals by industry.
- Sustainable management of chemicals through the implementation of EU legislation.
Bjorn Hansen, ECHA’s Executive Director, states the following: “Our new strategic priorities lead us to making the best use of our unique source of information on chemicals in Europe and to focus our efforts where we can provide the most impact. This also means an increased focus on ensuring compliance with EU chemicals legislation. We have the right competences to respond to challenges. We aim to become more efficient in the next five years, which will also be supported by the new organisational set-up of ECHA, to be effective from January onwards.”
A PDF of the 2019-2023 strategic plan is available at: https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/26075800/echa_strategic_plan_2019-2023_en.pdf/3457ccff-7240-2c1f-3a15-fa6e5e65ac56