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Highlights from September BPC meeting

Corrigendum 13 Oct 2022: The part concerning the review of iodine and PVP-iodine clarified and next steps added.

ECHA’s Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) backs the approval of sulphur dioxide generated from sulphur by combustion as an active substance used for disinfection of wine barrels. The committee also concluded that iodine and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) iodine should, in principle, not be approved in the EU as they meet the criteria for endocrine disruption.

Helsinki, 5 October 2022 – In its September meeting, the BPC adopted opinions supporting the approval of these active substances and product-types:

  • Ozone generated from oxygen for:
    • disinfectants and algaecides not intended for direct application to humans or animals (product-type 2);
    • food and feed area (product-type 4);
    • drinking water disinfection (product-type 5); and
    • preservatives for liquid-cooling and processing systems (product-type 11).
  • Sulphur dioxide generated from sulphur by combustion for product-type 4, used in disinfection and preservation of wine barrels.
  • Sulphur dioxide released from sodium metabisulphite for fibre, leather, rubber and polymerised materials preservatives (product-type 9), used to prevent microbial growth in shoe boxes during storage and transport.

The committee does not support the approval of mecetronium ethyl sulphate (MES) for human hygiene (product-type 1). This substance is used in surgical hand disinfection. The BPC concluded that there is insufficient data on whether the active substance would meet the exclusion criteria for endocrine disruption or for bioaccumulation – one of the three PBT (persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic) criteria.

In light of the upcoming review of iodine and PVP-iodine, the European Commission requested the BPC to provide opinions on whether these substances negatively affect the endocrine (hormonal) systems of people or non-target organisms, such as plants and animals. The BPC concluded that both active substances meet the criteria for endocrine disruption. The European Commission indicated that the next steps may include an analysis of alternatives for iodine and PVP-iodine and/or a risk assessment for their biocidal use. 

The committee also adopted four opinions on Union authorisations. More details about these and other opinions are available in the annex.

The European Commission together with EU Member States will take the final decision on approval of active substances and on Union authorisation of biocidal products.


The committee met during 26-29 September 2022. The opinions will be available on the BPC's web page in the near future. The next meeting will take place in November 2022. Listen to the highlights from the September BPC meeting in our podcast, where committee Chair Erik van de Plassche shares his reflections.