Europe TiO2 classification objection period extended to early February 2020

Author: Heidi Finch

2019/12/10

LONDON (ICIS)--The objection period for the European Commission’s TiO2 carcinogen classification decision has been extended to four months from two months by the European parliament, taking the deadline to 4 February 2020, according to the Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers  (TDMA) website.

The European Commission's decision for  TiO2 carcinogen classification and warning label requirement made a few months ago - was to be proceeded by a two-month period for the European Parliament and Council of the European Union to put forward any objections against the delegated act.

An objection has since been raised by the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group.

This is based on the view that “the Commission’s delegated regulation goes beyond what is necessary and proportionate to address possible health risks arising from workplace exposure to TiO2 powder and risks stigmatising the substance in other forms as being unsafe,” according to a draft motion for a resolution dated 25 November by member of parliament Anna Zalewska.

The objection also calls for the Commission to withdraw its classification decision and consider other options such as a harmonised occupational exposure limit (OEL) for TiO2 within the framework of the occupational health legislation.

The TDMA holds the same view,  considering an appropriate harmonised occupational exposure limit as a"more proportionate and effective" regulatory option to address inhalation concerns, according to the association's website

The ECR’s objection to the Commission’s delegated act failed to get majority support in a vote which took place on 3 December by the European parliament’s environment committee.

This means that no vote will be tabled on behalf of the environment committee in the European parliament’s plenary gathering.

"The ECR's attempt to delay the Ti02 classification from the Commission was a cynical attempt to pander to the interests of big corporations in the EU," said Seb Dance, MEP, vice chair of the European parliament committee on the environment, public health and food safety, who is the deputy leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group

Dance added, "The  Commission does not classify chemicals as carcinogenic lightly." He went on, "Luckily, this [the objection] was soundly defeated at committee stage, and so the classification will move forward."

Official direct comments from the European parliament and European Commission and MEP Anna Zalewska  were not available at the time of writing.

Thumbnail picture source: Manfred Bail/imageBROKER/Shutterstock