Committee for Socio-economic Analysis concludes on restricting methanol
The committee also agreed on draft opinions on restricting D4 and D5 and on applications for authorisation of uses of chromium trioxide.
Helsinki, 15 March 2016 – The Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) held its plenary meeting from 8 to 11 March 2016 where it concluded on the following matters.
Restriction proposal on methanol
SEAC adopted its opinion on the proposal from Poland to restrict the concentration of methanol in windshield washing fluids and in denatured ethanol. Having considered the four comments received during the public consultation on the SEAC draft opinion agreed in December 2015, SEAC made a few modifications and clarifications to the justification of its opinion. SEAC confirmed its draft opinion that the proposed restriction is the most appropriate EU-wide measure to address the identified risks, in terms of the proportionality of its socio-economic benefits to its socio-economic costs, provided that the scope and conditions are modified to include a lower concentration limit and excluding denaturated alcohol from the scope.
Restriction proposal on octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4) and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5)
SEAC agreed its draft opinion, in support of the proposal by the United Kingdom, to restrict the placing on the market of D4 and D5. SEAC concluded that the proposed restriction is the most appropriate EU-wide measure to address the identified risks in terms of the proportionality of its socio-economic benefits to its socio-economic costs.
Both substances are high tonnage substances in Europe and have direct uses in personal care products, cosmetic products, cleaning products and a wide range of other uses. D4 is a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) substance and D5 is a very persistent, very bioaccumulative (vPvB) substance as agreed by the Member State Committee. Due to these properties, they have a potential to accumulate in the environment and cause effects that are unpredictable in the long-term and are difficult to reverse. The restriction is targeted at the use of D4 and D5 in personal care products that are intended to be used or disposed with water, e.g. shower gels, shaving foams and shampoos. These uses are a major source of these substances to the aquatic environment in the EU.
The 60-day public consultation on the SEAC draft opinion will be launched in March 2016. SEAC plans to adopt its final opinion in June 2016.
Applications for authorisation
SEAC agreed on four draft opinions on the uses of chromium trioxide in functional plating, functional plating with decorative character, etching and passivation of tin-plated steel.
SEAC also discussed the key issues identified in the 27 applications for authorisation for uses of chromium (VI) compounds, arsenic acid, 1,2-dichloroethane (EDC) and bis(2-methoxyethyl) ether (Diglyme) received at the November 2015 submission window.