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Workshop on implications of use of trivalent chromium in functional plating with decorative character

Introduction

The REACH authorisation process has been designed to properly control the risks from substances of very high concern and to progressively replace SVHCs by suitable alternatives (Article 55 of the REACH Regulation). An alternative is suitable, when the risks to human health and the environment are reduced, and it is available and technically and economically feasible.

Trivalent chromium has been identified by a large proportion of applicants as the main alternative to hexavalent chromium in functional plating with decorative character. The question then arises: what are the risks from using this alternative? 

While trivalent chromium is not carcinogenic there is information to indicate that it is used together with borates (SVHC, reprotoxic cat. 1B). Furthermore, the potential upstream exposure to hexavalent chromium is of relevance. Instead of discussing the implications of the use of trivalent chromium in each application separately it was considered opportune to hold a workshop to discuss the implications of using trivalent chromium based plating in a horizontal manner.

Purpose

Gain understanding of the implications of the use of trivalent chromium functional plating with decorative character.


Main questions

  1. How trivalent chromium is currently used in functional plating with decorative character. In particular, to what extent are borates used in the process currently, and are there borate free alternatives in the horizon?
  2. What are the health and environmental implications of using trivalent chromium and borates in functional plating with decorative character. Are there mitigation measures that can be implemented and is this relevant for the introduction of an SVHC?
  3. What sources are used to manufacture trivalent chromium and in particular, to what extent is this different from hexavalent chromium?

Time

Monday 10 October 2022.

Venue

Hosted by ECHA over Webex. Agenda and a registration link will come later

Audience

Companies using trivalent and hexavalent chromium in plating, their suppliers and clients, regulators interested in the topic, RAC and SEAC members as well as industrial and environmental NGOs.