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Highlights from June RAC and SEAC meetings

The Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) adopted its opinion supporting Germany’s proposal to restrict PFHxA, its salts and related substances. A consultation on the draft opinion of the Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) on the same group of chemicals will start in early July. .

Helsinki, 16 June 2021 – RAC agreed that there is an EU-wide risk for people and the environment from the use of PFHxA, its salts and related substances, which is currently not adequately controlled. PFHxA substances are very persistent and mobile and, therefore, contribute to increasing environmental pollution and human exposure. RAC considers that the proposed restriction would be effective in reducing emissions of PFHxA and the related risks.

RAC noted that there are various uncertainties in the information provided in the restriction proposal, particularly related to applicable use volumes and the associated emissions of PFHxA. It, however, concluded that the uncertainties do not change the overall conclusion and that a restriction is justified.

SEAC agreed its draft opinion on the costs and benefits of the proposal for society. As the available information was limited, SEAC could not conclude that the conditions of the proposed restriction are the most appropriate measure for addressing the identified risks, even considering the modifications proposed by SEAC. However, SEAC was able to reach a conclusion on whether the restriction was proportionate for certain uses where information on the socio-economic impacts was less uncertain.

A 60-day consultation of SEAC’s draft opinion will start at the beginning of July. The consolidated opinion of both committees is expected to be ready by the end of 2021.

The committees also:

  • adopted 11 opinions on applications for authorisation on 11 uses of octyl- and nonylphenol ethoxylates;
  • discussed their opinions on restricting lead in outdoor shooting and fishing;
  • discussed their opinions on restricting hazardous chemicals in single-use baby diapers.

In addition, RAC adopted an important opinion on the scientific evaluation of occupational exposure limits (OEL) for asbestos, as well as opinions on nine proposals for harmonised classification and labelling (CLH). The committee also continued its discussions at the request of the Executive Director of ECHA on the environmental properties of lead. 

Lastly, the two committees agreed on the approach for evaluating review reports for authorisation.