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Safer Chemicals Conference 2021

Safer Chemicals Conference 2021

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) organized a virtual Safer Chemicals Conference on 6 October 2021. Ecobio attended the event.

The conference focused on the chemical strategy and several related themes, which will affect e.g. the chemicals legislation and substance restrictions. The goal is a non-toxic environment where chemicals contribute to society while avoiding harm to the environment and humans. Three core issues of the chemicals strategy are 1) increasing the protection of the environment and people 2) innovation and 3) simplifying and consolidating the current legal framework.

The issues raised by the conference presentations and speeches included:

  • New safe chemicals and materials are needed, and innovation is an integral part of it.
  • Definition and criteria for a sustainable chemical are needed. Criteria must be introduced.
  • Research funding should support the development of safe and sustainable chemicals.
  • The chemicals strategy is not only about sustainability, but also includes measures for the circular economy and digitalisation.
  • A full life cycle assessment of chemicals is needed to ensure safety and sustainability.

The presentations addressed the grouping of substances to speed up and harmonize restrictive measures, the replacement of hazardous solvents by less harmful ones, PFA restrictions, the new Clean Drinking Water Directive, and nanomaterials. In addition, PCN and SCIP notifications and changes made in relation to them were reviewed.

Additionally, one of the themes of the event was compliance. Conformity and enforcement of products and chemicals will be strengthened through more frequent checks. ECHA supports companies in compliance e.g. with informal reviews through the Voluntary Action Plan.

The new features of PCN notifications for hazardous mixtures were reviewed. For example, it is possible to make notifications for several mixtures at the same time, provided that they have the same classification. Discontinuation of the product may also be indicated in the notices. Furthermore, new situations where the notification needs to be updated were discussed. Updates have also been made to the PCN format and the submission of notifications has been improved, e.g. through the System-to-System (S2S) service.

Obligation for notifying on Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products) was discussed as well as the preparation of the notification, and the public SCIP database and its use. A SCIP notification or a Simplified SCIP notification (SSN) must be made for articles containing more than 0.1 % of any Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC). Companies’ challenges in the SCIP notification obligation include the relatively short notice that was given to prepare for the new obligation and gather the necessary information in complex supply chains. Despite the difficulties, a significant number of SCIP notifications have already been made to the SCIP database.

In addition, the concerns of the companies were heard in the discussions and chat rooms of the event. The following ideas were put forward:

  • Companies need clear criteria and direction to invest in as quickly as possible. It takes time to achieve the given goals and make the necessary changes.
  • There must also be a market for sustainable and safe chemicals. Companies may face questions such as: How much more can a sustainable chemical cost? How much of the product’s properties are allowed to deteriorate?
  • In companies, a decrease in the consumption of chemicals may mean a decrease in growth.

The materials and recordings of the event are available at ECHA’s website here.

Text: Anne Kallioinen & Mikael Hirn

Picture: Shutterstock

Poison Centre Notification – 6 Steps for a Successful PCN

Download our comprehensive guide about Poison Centre Notification here!

A large number of chemical products are placed on the EU market and used both by the general public in their everyday lives as well as by professionals in their working environments. Chemical products are, in general, considered to be safe when their use instructions are followed. Nevertheless, unintentional exposure to chemicals can occur, for example, due to their inappropriate use or accidents. When this happens, immediate access to relevant information on the chemical product is crucial for medical staff and those who provide emergency responses. Poison centres play an important role in ensuring the safe use of chemicals and formulating preventive and curative measures for poison incidents.

The companies that place hazardous mixtures on the market are obliged to provide information to the poison centres in each EU member state the placing occur. The placing on the market happens when the company, e.g. formulates or imports a mixture and either sells it or uses it in its own operations. This requirement is set by law in article 45 of the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP)regulation ((EC) No 1272/2008). This obligation is applicable to mixtures,e.g. to detergents, paints, glues or biocides. Substances, e.g. ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, or copper sulphate, are not in the scope of this obligation as poison centres have the required information of substances available in their databases. The information provided enables poison centres to advise the citizens or medical personnel in an emergency.

PCN plays an important role in ensuring the safe use of chemicals and formulating preventive and curative measures for poison incidents

Our guide gives an overview of Poison Centre Notification (PCN) that play an important role in ensuring the safe use of chemicals and formulating preventive and curative measures for poison incidents.

Do you want to know what a Poison Centre Notification (PCN) is? Are you curious about which mixtures require information to be submitted and how to submit a Poison Centre Notification dossier? These are just some of the questions our guide answers as well as presenting the 6 steps for a successful PCN.

Download our guide by filling in the form below.

    By submitting the form, I agree to receive marketing communications regarding Ecobio and Ecobio Manager and their services, and I authorize Ecobio to store and process the personal data provided above to provide the requested content. You can unsubscribe from these messages at any time.

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    Biocides in the European Union

    Biocides in the European Union

    Download our comprehensive whitepaper about biocides in the European Union here!

    It might not always be so obvious, but biocides belong closely to our everyday lives. They are products we use regularly, for example disinfectants, preservatives, insecticides, rodenticides, or repellents which kill, deactivate, render harmless or prevent the action of harmful organisms. Right now, the Covid-19 pandemic is still bothering the mankind making the biocides even more important to us than ever before – each one of us has used hand sanitisers and other disinfectants during this time.

    Biocides are important products, and we need them in our lives in various occasions. Biocides are regulated in the European Union (EU) by Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 on Concerning the Making Available on the Market and Use of Biocidal Products, often called simply Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR). The EU BPR regulation requires many elements and aspects to consider and fulfill in order for the biocidal products to be complaint with the EU-legislation and allowed to be sold and used on the EU-markets. In addition, different national regulatory practices apply making the fulfillment of all the requirements even more time consuming and tedious.

    Reach and maintain compliance with the EU Biocide Product Regulation

    Our whitepaper gives an overview of the European Union Biocide Product Regulation (BPR), the regulatory approval process of the biocidal active substances, and particularly of the authorisation process of the biocidal products in the European Union (EU).

    Do you want to know what the European Union Biocide Product Regulation (BPR) is? Are you curious about how the regulatory approval process of the biocidal active substances work and how the authorisation process of the biocidal products in the European Union work? These are just some of the questions our whitepaper answers as well as presenting how to run your biocide business smoothly.

    Download our whitepaper here.

    Ecobio helps you make your biocide business run smoothly

    Ecobio can provide you with valuable information on biocides as our consultants have a high knowledge of the BPR legislation and the regulatory practices of the biocides both at the national and the EU levels. We can guide you through the entire biocide authorisation process and assist you to make your biocide business to run smoothly. We are at your disposal and wait for you to tell us more about your biocidal products or biocidal active substances, your circumstances, and needs.

    Read more about our services regarding biocides here.

    Get in touch with us! We are very pleased to help you.

    Ecobio Oy asiantuntija Anne KallioinenAnne Kallioinen

    Senior Consultant


    Tel.: +358 20 756 2303


    Picture: Shutterstock

    Eight new hazardous chemicals added to the SVHC Candidate List

    Eight new hazardous chemicals added to the SVHC Candidate List

    ECHA has added eight new entries to the Candidate List of substances of very high concern on 8 July 2021. Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) may have serious and often irreversible effects on human health and the environment. There are currently 219 substances on the SVHC Candidate List.

    Newly added substances are used in consumer products such as cosmetics, scented articles, rubber, textiles, solvents, flame retardants or to manufacture plastic products. Most of the substance have been added to the list due to their hazardous properties to human health.

    Hazardous chemicals added to the Candidate List

    Hazardous chemicals added to the Candidate List

    Obligations related to SVHC

    Companies have legal obligations if a substance included in the Candidate List is present in a concentration above 0.1% w/w. Obligations include:

    • Providing Safety Data Sheets for substances on their own and substances in mixtures containing SVHCs
    • Requirement to notify ECHA under REACH if an article contains a SVHC
    • Requirement to inform customers and consumers under REACH if an article contains a SVHC to allow safe use of the article
    • Requirement to notify ECHA under the Waste Framework Directive (SCIP Database) about articles containing SVHCs

    Companies that are importing, producing, selling or using substances, their mixtures or articles (components, materials) containing SVHCs should keep an eye on the substances added to the Candidate List. Substances are regularly being added to the list. It is also recommended for companies to start looking for substitutes for the added substances already. Substances on the Candidate List may also be placed on the Authorization List in the future, which means that continuing the use would need a permission.

    Do you need help with chemical management?

    Our experienced chemical consultants will assist you in meeting your chemical requirements. Furthermore, our Ecobio Manager SaaS-service will help you manage your chemicals and ensure compliance with global regulations. You can watch our webinar “Chemical Management and Risk Assessment Obligations” here. You can find all of our webinars here.

    Interested? Contact us today!

    Contact: info@ecobio.fi

    Text: Mikael Hirn

    Picture: Shutterstock


    ECHA: Candidate List updated with eight hazardous chemicals.

    TUKES: Erityistä huolta aiheuttavat aineet (SVHC).

    Ecobio’s key take-home messages from the Helsinki Chemicals Forum 2021

    This year’s Helsinki Chemicals Forum (HCF) took place virtually on the 27th and 28th of April. Ecobio also joined the Forum as probably many of you too. In this brief blog we would like to share with you what we got out of the lively discussions during the two days. In these take-home messages, we concentrate in the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. This is because it was by far the most heavily debated topic at the HCF.

    As we all know, the EU’s new growth strategy, the European Green Deal, has set the European Union (EU) to become a sustainable climate neutral and circular economy by 2050. Therefore, it sets the goals to tackle pollution and move towards a toxic-free environment. The EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS), published in October 2020, is part of this scope. Not only because the chemical manufacturing industry is the fourth largest sector in the EU, but also because the chemicals are used in 95% of all manufactured goods.

    Safe and sustainable-by-design to protect human health and the environment

    The future chemicals have to be safe and sustainable-by-design, the CSS outlines. Although the actual meaning of this is yet to be defined in the EU, the debate during the HCF was around the following lines. New green chemistries need to be developed and used to produce new types of molecules to replace the most harmful current ones. The safe and sustainable-by-design concept needs to go through the entire life cycle of the chemical. For example, at the sourcing stage of the raw materials, the workers’ safety and human rights need to be adhered, and similarly at the manufacturing stage, too. The manufacturers also need to produce their chemicals, materials, and products environmentally friendly, e.g., by using renewable energy sources.

    The safe use of the chemicals, materials and products must be guaranteed. In the final stage of their life cycle the waste must be recycled in a manner that contributes to the circular economy. Information and transparency from the start to the end of product’s life are the key. Currently, we do not know anything about 70% of the chemicals, which was reminded at the HCF. Some speakers pointed out that without the right information through the entire product-chain we would not know how to appropriately recycle the waste in the end, in particular of the long-lasting materials such as concrete. As a starting point to improve this and to enable consumers to make informed choices, ECHA is going to make the data in its SCIP-database publicly available by the end of this year.

    Innovation and funding are prerequisite for the new developments

    The CSS promotes innovation to develop the new chemicals of safe and sustainable-by-design. It was made clear during the HCF discussions that funding is needed at all fronts from the development to manufacturing until the waste management. The EU will provide funding for these innovations; they could be e.g., new green chemistries, new greener technologies at the manufacturing sites or novel ways to decontaminate waste.

    Voices were heard at the HCF that funding is highly important. Concerns were raised how competitive the EU’s future chemicals sector would be if the non-EU-economies do not follow similar green strategies. It was also pointed out that chemicals sector will face many challenges simultaneously between now and 2050: green and digital transition challenge, circularity challenge and CSS. The CSS is a bigger regulatory update than REACH ever was, some HCF speakers noted. It was acknowledged, however, that the CSS gives a great opportunity for the EU’s chemical industry to be a global front-runner.

    Essential use of the chemicals is the way forward

    The CSS brings forward the concept on the essential use of the chemicals. Again, this is yet to be defined by the EU. Nevertheless, it was discussed in the HCF that in the evaluation process of the chemicals, the essentiality of their uses should also be assessed. The CSS outlines that the essential use must be a justified use where the most harmful chemicals are only allowed if their uses are necessary for health, safety or are critical for the functioning of society, and if there are no alternatives. Examples were given from the medical device sector; while the same harmful chemical used in a medical device could be considered essential, in the consumer products it should be banned.

    The CSS clearly aims at ensuring with the generic risk management approach that consumer products such as food contact materials, toys, childcare articles, cosmetics, detergents, furniture, and textiles, do not contain chemicals that cause cancers, gene mutations, affect the reproductive or the endocrine system, or are persistent and bioaccumulative. To empower this, the substances will be assessed and regulated in groups, instead of one-by-one. This will speed up the assessments made by ECHA, and consequently increase the number of restricted substances. Concerns were raised by some HCF speakers, whether this approach to regulate chemicals in groups would lead to omission of the essential uses of some specific chemicals. Time will tell.

    PFAS and endocrine disrupters in the spotlight

    Special attention is given by the CSS to PFAS and endocrine disruptors (EDs). The aim is to ban the use of PFAS as a group in the EU, unless proven essential for the society. As regards to the EDs, their all non-essential uses will be banned in the consumer products. The discussions are ongoing to introduce a new hazard class on endocrine disruptors in the CLP-regulation, based on the WHO definition, but building on the present criteria currently applied to pesticides and biocides. At the HCF, it was asked whether this new class would effectively be better to be added to the UN’s GHS to avoid the differences.

    REACH will be re-opened in 2022

    To allow the regulatory changes described by the CSS, the REACH-regulation will be revisited and amended accordingly. Information requirements are expected to increase. The CSS points to the direction to extend the REACH scope to cover certain polymers of concern, such as with CMR or ED properties. Also, information on the overall environmental footprint of the chemicals (e.g., emissions of greenhouse gases) would be required and more information will be needed to enable effective identification of the critical hazards of the substances (e.g., neurological effects).

    The future REACH will also require data to enable identification of all carcinogenic substances manufactured or imported into the EU irrespective of their volumes. Furthermore, compliance of all REACH-registration dossiers is required. This is to strengthen the principles of “no data, no market” and the “polluter-pays”. In case of non-compliance, the registration numbers will be revoked. Mixtures of the chemicals will also be introduced in the updated REACH, considering also other relevant legislation. E.g., food additives, food contact materials, water, cosmetics, and detergents. To involve the other regulatory sectors better, one-substance-one-assessment approach will be employed by building the new assessment on the previous assessments of the substance. Finally, the ongoing discussions on the introduction of the worker safety legislation into REACH were further reiterated at the HCF.

    This is what we at Ecobio found to be the most relevant discussion points at HCF 2021. Hope you enjoyed the reading. Next HCF will be held in March 2022 and thereafter every second year. You can find the CSS here and the CSS action plan here.

    Do you need help with chemical management?

    Our experienced chemical consultants will assist you in meeting your chemical requirements. Furthermore, our Ecobio Manager SaaS-service will help you manage your chemicals and ensure compliance with global regulations. Interested? Contact us today!

    You can contact us through email at info@ecobio.fi or by phone +358 20 756 9450.

    You might be interested in our chemical management webinar on Thursday 6.5.2021

    Welcome to our webinar regarding the digital future of chemical management on Thursday the 6th of May 2021. In our webinar our we summarize chemical risks for companies as well as their management in the workplace. Our experts present the most common challenges and digital solutions regarding complying with chemical laws. Additionally we go trough managing the use of chemicals and assessing the risk of chemical exposure. The webinar is held in both Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian.

    Read more and register using the links below:

    You can find all of our upcoming and recorded webinars from our webinar library here!

    Text: Mari Eskola, Dr, Senior Consultant

    Picture: Shutterstock

    ECHA extends the scope of completeness check to include chemical safety reports

    The Technical Completeness Check (TCC) done by ECHA for each REACH registration dossier now includes manual checks on the content of chemical safety reports. The extended completeness check will apply to both new registrations and updates of existing ones. Implementation of the revised completeness check was originally planned for November 2020 but was postponed until 2021. This TCC improvement aims to enable better prioritisation of substances for regulatory action by authorities and to improve supply chain communication. Companies are responsible for registering substances that are manufactured or imported above one tonne a year.

    What is completeness checking?

    ECHA carries out a TCC on each incoming registration dossier to ensure that all required information is provided. The completeness check includes a manual verification which means that ECHA checks certain elements of the registration dossier that cannot be checked automatically. The TCC process, applied to all registration dossiers submitted to ECHA, previously included only the following elements:

    • Substance identification
    • Data-waiving justifications
    • Testing proposals on vertebrate animals
    • Justification for opting-out
    • Specific requirements for nanoforms

    As of 1 March 2021, manual completeness checks performed by ECHA staff will be extended to chemical safety reports to ensure they contain all the elements required under REACH.  A chemical safety report is required for all substances subject to registration in quantities of 10 tonne a year or more per registrant. Exposure assessment and risk characterisation are checked from chemical safety reports. Since the chemical safety report is submitted as a text document attached to the IUCLID dossier, the information cannot be verified by the Validation assistant. This makes verifying the completeness of a dossier before submitting more difficult. Registration dossiers sent before 1 March 2021 are not checked for the new TCC rules.

    Registrants should, therefore, prepare for the changes, as their update registrations may no longer pass the revised technical completeness check. If your first submission fails the TCC, you will get four months to correct the information. If your second submission is also incomplete, your submission will be rejected, and the data will not be included in ECHA’s database. ECHA will not refund or otherwise credit any fees before the rejection.

    More information

    Technical Completeness Check: https://echa.europa.eu/technical-completeness-check

    ECHA’s webinar on the revised completeness check: https://echa.europa.eu/-/revised-completeness-check-what-changes-and-how-you-can-prepa-1

    Do you need help with chemical management?

    Our experienced chemical consultants will assist you in meeting your chemical requirements. Furthermore, our Ecobio Manager SaaS-service will help you manage your chemicals and ensure compliance with global regulations. Interested? Contact us today!

    Contact: info@ecobio.fi

    Text: Mikael Hirn

    Picture: Shutterstock

    Source: ECHA

    4 new substances added to the SVHCs Candidate List

    high risk substances and chemicals

    ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) has added four new substances to the Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) for authorisation. The substances are added due to their toxicity to reproduction, endocrine disruption and a combination of other properties of concern. The list now contains 201 substances.

    The Candidate List contains substances that may have serious effects on human health or the environment. Substances added to the list are candidates for eventual inclusion in the Authorisation List. Once they are on the Authorisation List, companies will need to apply for permission to continue using the substance.

    The substances added are listed in the table below:

    # Substance name EC number CAS number Reason for inclusion Examples of use(s)
    1 2-methoxyethyl acetate 203-772-9 110-49-6 Toxic for reproduction (Article 57 (c)) Not registered under REACH.
    2 Tris(4-nonylphenyl, branched and linear) phosphite (TNPP) with ≥ 0.1% w/w of 4-nonylphenol, branched and linear (4-NP) Endocrine disrupting properties (Article 57(f) – environment) Primarily used as an antioxidant to stabilise polymers.
    3 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy)propionic acid, its salts and its acyl halides (covering any of their individual isomers and combinations thereof) Equivalent level of concern having probable serious effects to the environment (Article 57(f) – environment) and human health (Article 57(f) – human health) Processing aid in the production of fluorinated polymers.
    4 4-tert-butylphenol 202-679-0 98-54-4 Endocrine disrupting properties (Article 57(f) – environment) Used in coating products, polymers, adhesives, sealants and for the synthesis of other substances.

    Table source: https://echa.europa.eu/-/four-new-substances-added-to-the-candidate-list 

    Companies may have legal obligations resulting already from the inclusion of the substance in the Candidate List. Importers and producers of articles containing the substance have six months starting from today (16 July 2019) to notify ECHA.

    If you have any questions regarding the changes or need help related to the handling of chemical substances in the European Union do not hesitate to contact us!

    Our Ecobio Manager service helps you keep up with regulations and requirements.

    Contact details:



    News original source: ECHA

    chemicals kemikaalit testing

    New Proposition 65 Fact Sheet on Styrene

    California Environmental Protection Agency has published a new fact sheet on styrene.

    Styrene is a widely used chemical that can be found in several different products. It’s an industrial chemical used to produce several different products including synthetic rubbers, latex paints and coatings, and polystyrene plastics and resins, but styrene is also on the Proposition 65 list of chemicals that cause cancer.

    Styrene is released into indoor air from some paints and building materials, such as certain types of insulation, insulated panels, and rubber flooring. It is released into indoor air during the operation of some 3D printers that use filaments containing acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or high-impact polystyrene (HIPS). It can also be released by some photocopiers and laser printers that use toners containing styrene copolymers. It is released into the air from some industrial facilities including plastics and fiberglass manufacturers, and waste disposal sites. Small amounts of the chemical can be transferred to some food from polystyrene-based food-contact items such as drinking cups, plates, and other containers. Styrene is found in tobacco smoke. During pregnancy, the chemical can pass from mother to baby. Additional information.


    Ecobio Manager provides an effective platform for industrial substance management. Please ask for further information about our service www.ecobiomanager.com, or a presentation: sanna.perkio@ecobiomanager.com.

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