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The European Commission has released criteria for awarding a European Union (EU) Ecolabel for indoor and outdoor paints and varnishes.
A detailed guidance note covers conditions on white pigment and wet scrub resistance and titanium dioxide content. It also lays down standards on usage efficiency relating to spreading rates, water resistance, adhesion, abrasion, weathering, water vapour permeability, liquid water permeability, fungal resistance, crack bridging, alkali resistance and corrosion resistance.
It also imposes conditions on the presence of volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs, SVOCs). And it notes restrictions on the use of hazardous substances and mixtures within paints and coatings being sold with an EU Ecolabel.
A Commission note said: "The Ecolabel criteria reflect the best environmental performing products on the market of paints and varnishes. High quality and performance standards of the paint are required to ensure the longevity of the product and contribute that way to the significant reduction of the paints’ overall life cycle impacts.”
- Meanwhile, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has developed a new procedure for using the EU register for biocidal products, which allows industry to propose chemicals for fast-track EU-wide authorisation. This is a key feature if the new biocidal products regulation (BPR), which came into force last September. Chemicals listed in the regulation’s ‘Annex I’, can be subject to a simplified authorisation procedure.
An ECHA note said that under the new procedure, "applicants need to conclusively demonstrate that the substance falls into the description of the relevant category for which the authorisation is sought and that there is a robust consensus of expert opinion that the substance does not give rise to concern.”
It warned however, that in some cases, companies would have to submit data for a full risk assessment of a biocidal substance. See http://echa.europa.eu/regulations/biocidal-products-regulation/annex-i-amendment
- An EU research project is about to commercialise a new intumescent nano-coating with enhanced fire resistance and mechanical properties for steel products. The €2.3M SteelProst project says that its coating can replace the three or four layers usually required to achieve protection required by EU legislation.
To improve its resistance to scratching, the SteelProst coating uses nanomaterials as an inorganic filler. See http://cordis.europa.eu/result/report/rcn/57322_en.html