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Highlights from March RAC and SEAC meetings

The Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) adopted its opinion supporting Norway’s proposal to restrict Dechlorane Plus. The Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) also supports a restriction in its draft opinion, which is open for consultation until 16 May 2022. The proposal aims to address risks for human health and the environment from emissions of the substance.

Helsinki, 22 March 2022 – RAC concluded that there is an EU-wide risk for people and the environment from the use of Dechlorane Plus, which is a very persistent and very bioaccumulative substance. It is mainly used as a flame retardant, for example, in adhesives and sealants in cars, aeroplanes and electronic equipment. RAC considers that the proposed restriction would be effective in reducing emissions of Dechlorane Plus and the related risks.

SEAC considers that a restriction is, in general, an appropriate Union-wide measure to address the identified risks from Dechlorane Plus and any of the restriction options presented by Norway could be proportionate in terms of their benefits and costs to society. SEAC, however, noted that there are clear differences between the different restriction options in terms of their marginal cost-effectiveness.

A 60-day consultation of SEAC’s draft opinion started on 17 March 2022. The combined opinion of both committees is expected to be ready by summer.

The committees also adopted an opinion on a review report on the industrial use of 1,2-dichloroethane as a solvent in chemical synthesis. Furthermore, RAC adopted two opinions on occupational exposure limits (OELs) for 1,4-dioxane and isoprene, and 10 opinions on harmonised classification and labelling. Among the harmonised classification and labelling opinions are those for sulfur and multi-walled carbon nanotubes.

More about these and other topics can be found in the annex. Listen also to the highlights from the meetings in our podcast, where committee chairs Tim Bowmer and Maria Ottati share their reflections.