News

ECHA launches a public consultation on a proposed restriction of lead and its compounds in consumer articles

ECHA/PR/13/15

The public consultation will start on 21 March 2013 and will last for six months concluding on 21 September 2013. Interested parties are invited to send comments by 1 June 2013 in time for the first discussion during the meetings of the Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC).

Helsinki, 21 March 2013 – The proposal to restrict lead and its compounds in consumer articles was put forward by Sweden in January 2013. Lead is usually found in metal alloys, pigments/dyes, and to a lesser extent it is used as a stabiliser in plastic and as a pure metal. This restriction proposal addresses articles that can be placed in the mouth by small children, such as clothes, shoes, accessories, interior decorations, and articles for sports and leisure.

Lead has been shown to cause non-threshold neurotoxic and neurodevelopmental effects, especially in children.

Comments on the restriction proposal and the associated report can be submitted using a dedicated webform. The report provides background information and justifications for the proposed restriction, which includes the description of identified risks and information on alternatives, and the effectiveness of the restriction in reducing risks and costs.

The Committees take into account the comments received when developing their final opinions on the proposed restriction. RAC opinion is scheduled to be available for December 2013 and SEAC opinion for March 2014. The European Commission will then take the final decision on whether to introduce additional restrictions into the REACH Regulation.