EU round up

13 February 2015

The European Union (EU) paint and coatings industry association has been pushing the European Commission to ensure a planned information sharing system for EU poison centres is harmonised across all EU member states and free.

Director for Product Relations European Council of the Paint, Printing Ink and Artists’ Colour Industry (CEPE), Janice Robinson, has signed a letter with other EU chemical industry associations, such as umbrella body CEFIC, calling on the Commission to pass a regulation to this effect, using its powers under the EU’s classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) regulation (EC) No 1272/2008).
It mandates an ongoing review of how chemical industries send information to EU poison centres. The Commission has been considering how much flexibility member states can have over, whether they can make such a system mandatory or voluntary and how it is funded.

In the letter, CEPE and others said: "To avoid any disproportionate administrative burden on both industry and poison centres there should be consistency across all EU member states [for] information requirements and format. The data should be provided in a simple harmonised form to enable easy submission.” The associations called for filings to be covered by data protection rules. And they wanted "assurance that a harmonised requirement from a regulation will replace existing national legislation and that neither the Commission nor member states will apply fees to cover the changes”.

• Meanwhile, the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) committee for socio-economic analysis (SEAC) has backed the agency’s proposed revised restrictions using cadmium in paints, allowing trace elements under certain circumstances. The revised proposal also bans cadmium where it is more than 0.01% by weight of a paint, (0.1% for paints with a zinc content of more than 10% by weight); an earlier proposal simply said cadmium "shall not be used in paints”.

The committee, however, rejected a proposal from Sweden to tightly restrict the use of cadmium and its compounds in artists’ paints, being unconvinced by Stockholm’s concerns that this could harm people’s drinking water contaminated by artist paint waste.

• At the same time, the Fraunhofer Institute, in Germany, is looking for ways to commercialise a successful EU-funded research project using nanoparticles within an innovative high-temperature coating system. The technology developed by the EU-funded PARTICOAT project could aid the power generation and aerospace industries and coat engines, exhaust systems, construction and some electronic applications. The coating incorporates micro-scaled spherical aluminium particles deposited by spraying, brushing or gels, which bond to each other and alloy surfaces at high temperatures.

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The British Coatings Federation Food Packaging Summit 2015