SEAC concludes on three restriction proposals and three authorisation applications


The Committee for Socio-economic Assessment (SEAC) adopted final opinions on the restriction proposals for Bisphenol A and PFOA and agreed on draft opinions supporting the restriction of methanol and authorisation applications for three substances.

Helsinki, 9 December 2015

Restriction proposal on Isopropylidenediphenol (Bisphenol A)

SEAC adopted its opinion on the proposal from France to restrict the placing on the market of bisphenol A-containing thermal paper (e.g. used for point-of-sale tickets and receipts) on which the Agency communicated separately (see ECHA Press release ECHA/PR/15/16).

SEAC concluded that the socio-economic benefits of restricting bisphenol A (BPA) in thermal paper are unlikely to be higher than the socio-economic costs. SEAC also noted that there are other considerations in favour of the restriction that should be taken into account by the European Commission in making their decision. The Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) had previously concluded that the risk for workers handling thermal paper was not adequately controlled.

Restriction proposal on PFOA (pentadecafluorooctanoic acid) and PFOA-related substances

SEAC adopted its opinion on the proposal from Germany and Norway to restrict the manufacture, marketing and use of PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related substances, as well as of articles and mixtures containing these substances.

SEAC confirmed its draft opinion of September 2015 that the proposed restriction is the most appropriate EU-wide measure to address the identified risks, in terms of the proportionality of its socio-economic benefits to its socio-economic costs, provided that the conditions are modified.

Having considered almost 70 comments received during the public consultation on the draft opinion agreed in September 2015, SEAC supported some further changes to the conditions of the proposed restriction, e.g. additional time-limited derogations for pulsed plasma nano-coating, for semiconductor manufacturing equipment, for some specific technical textiles and for spare parts produced before the entry into force of the restriction. Furthermore, SEAC made some adjustments to the proposed derogations for firefighting foams.

Restriction proposal on methanol

SEAC agreed on a draft opinion, in support of the proposal by Poland to restrict the concentration of methanol in windshield washing fluids. The proposed restriction is intended to eliminate poisoning caused by consumption of windshield washing fluids and denaturated alcohol containing methanol. However, SEAC's opinion did not support restricting  denaturated alcohol.  

The 60-day public consultation on the SEAC draft opinion will be launched in December 2015. SEAC plans to adopt its final opinion in March 2016.

Applications for authorisation

SEAC agreed on three draft opinions for one use of sodium chromate, sodium dichromate and 1,2-dichloroethane (EDC): use of EDC as a process and extracting solvent in the manufacture of pharmaceutical ingredients; use of sodium chromate as an anticorrosion agent of the carbon steel cooling system in absorption refrigerators; and use of sodium dichromate in copper/lead separation in concentrators handling complex sulphide ores.


Further information

Background information

Role of SEAC in EU regulatory processes

The committee is responsible for preparing the opinion of the Agency on applications for authorisation and proposals for restrictions. SEAC also prepares opinions on specific questions relating to socio-economic issues and on any other aspects concerning the safety of substances on their own, in preparations or in articles at the Executive Director's request. The final decision for proposals for restrictions as well as on applications for authorisation will be taken by the European Commission through a committee procedure.

  • Further information about SEAC is available on the ECHA website.