ECHA begins consultation to ban five phenylmercury substances

24 September 2010 15:39  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has started a six-month public consultation period on proposals to ban five phenylmercury substances, which are mainly used as catalysts in the production of polyurethane coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers, it said on Friday.

A report from Norway, which was prepared by the ECHA on the request of the European Commission, has proposed to restrict mercury in several measuring devices used in industrial and professional settings following a review of the availability of reliable safer alternatives.

Mercury is already restricted in measuring devices intended for the general public.

“In the restriction report Norway suggests that these substances should not be manufactured, placed on the market or used as a substance or in mixtures in concentrations above 0.01 % weight by weight,” the ECHA said.

“The life-cycle of the phenylmercury compounds leads to the release of mercury to the environment,” the agency added.

ECHA's committees for risk assessment (RAC) and socio-economic analysis (SEAC) would be reviewing comments from interested groups on the proposals and a final decision on the proposed restrictions were scheduled for September 2011.

Based on the conclusions made, the European Commission would decide whether to introduce additional restrictions into the Reach regulation, the ECHA said.

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By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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