EU round up – Paint ingredients added to ECHA authorisation list

17 June 2013

Chemicals used as paint and coatings ingredients have been added to the European Union’s (EU) ‘authorisation’ list because of wide ranging environmental health concerns. A listing requires companies wanting to integrate these chemicals in their products or manufacturing processes to seek permission from the European Commission first – it will be advised in making this decision by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA). The chemicals are ammonium dichromate, chromium trioxide, potassium dichromate and sodium dichromate. All these chemicals will require authorisation from September 2017. Three were listed for being carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction: ammonium dichromate, a mordant for dyeing pigments; potassium dichromate, which is used to stain wood by darkening its tannins, producing deep, rich browns; and sodium dichromate, which helps make inorganic chromate pigments with a range of light stable colours, with some grades being corrosion inhibitors in undercoats and primers. Chromium trioxide, used for electroplating, was listed for being carcinogenic and mutagenic.

The announcement comes as ECHA has clarified that companies have three additional months beyond a so-called deadline for making authorisation applications. They actually can make applications until the ‘sunset date’ when companies not seeking authorisation for a listed chemical must cease using them. And once a company makes an application, they can continue using the chemicals requiring authorisation while they wait for a decision on whether the Commission will grant them permission.

  • Meanwhile, ECHA has released proposals to impose EU-wide safety rules on the borate disodium octaborate, tetrahydrate, which is used as a biocidal substance including in wood preservatives.

The Netherlands government has proposed that an EU-wide limit for concentrations of this chemical in products be imposed because of concerns that it is toxic to reproduction.

Also, it has released more guidance documents on the EU chemical control system REACH’s registration process –

Elsewhere in the EU, the European Commission has proposed opening a small 20 tonnes zero duty import quota for purchases of dye CI Pigment Red 169, which will last for the rest of this year, on a first-come-first-served basis.

Comission welcomes SurFunCell project
Meanwhile, the Commission’s directorate general for research has welcomed a €7.9M EU research project SurFunCell of new coatings using cellulose-embedded nanoparticles that can dramatically increase a material’s resistance to fire, cold and other environmental challenges. See

The Commission has also hailed the result of a project called Nanoreflex, which has developed a novel water-based industrial coating technology for producing environmentally friendly, highly reflective metallic coatings, based on nano-coated sub-micron aluminium pigments. See ­–

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