REACH: EC Commission imposes strict conditions over the use of hazardous chemicals used in automotive, aerospace and medical sectors

The EC Commission is working with Member States and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to continuously limit the risks posed by chemicals to human health and the environment in the context of the EU’s REACH regulation – the most comprehensive chemicals legislation in the world. On Friday, Member States’ representatives in the so-called REACH Committee agreed to the Commission’s proposals to further reduce workers’ exposure to two chemical substances of very high concern, following recommendations by ECHA.

The decision will oblige companies that have applied to use chromium trioxide, a substance of very high concern due to its carcinogenic properties, to implement strict risk management procedures for various uses of the substance in the automotive, aerospace and other sectors. It also gives these companies a maximum of 7 years to reassess the availability of safer alternatives or substitute the substance earlier when possible. The REACH committee has also followed the Commission’s proposal to, for the first time ever, reject the authorisation for continued use of sodium dichromate, an also potentially carcinogenic substance by a company using it for treatment of micro-surgical instruments.

The Commission is due to adopt the above mentioned decisions in the coming weeks.