Chemicals Coffee Time Monthly, February 2023
Welcome to the compilation from the February 2023 issues of Chemicals Coffee Time, our weekly email newsletter (with a little bit from March as well).
We’re finding a lot of issues with Biocides here in the UK following Brexit, so it’s this month’s theme, but we’ve also got some news on the Titanium Dioxide appeal, another recipe, and of course our Reasons to be Cheerful.
Applicability of Biocidal Products Regulation
In my naivety, I thought that Brexit would be an easier transition for Biocidal Regulations than REACH would be for general chemical registration, because Biocides have always required authorisation by individual member states. A single country competent authority should (in theory) have been an easy switch!
However, this was to underestimate the complexity of the BPR in the EU, particularly the requirement to register active substances and active substance/ product type combinations. Resulting in hundreds of combinations, rather than ~150 individual substances.
Most industrial users understand the definition of Biocidal Active substances, and Biocidal Products. However we find a significant knowledge gap when it comes to ‘Treated Articles’. Even regulatory presentations at conferences have a tendency to miss these out! It’s important to understand your obligations though, as many companies will find at least one treated article lurking in their product range!
A treated article under the Biocidal Product Regulation is a product (mixture or article) which does not have a Biocidal function but does contain a Biocidal Active Substance.
For example, a paint might contain a preservative to prevent mould growth and extend the shelf life of the product. The paint itself is not anti-bacterial or anti-fungal (and it is not a Biocidal Product), but it has been treated with an active substance (preservative) making it a ‘Treated Article’.
Alternatively a gym-shirt might be manufactured with an anti-bacterial substance to prevent odour. The purpose of the fabric is not to provide anti-bacterial properties, (it’s to be a T-Shirt!) but the shirt is a Treated Article.
To prevent your treated article becoming a Biocidal Product you must be very careful with your marketing claims. Do not state that your product provides biocidal properties to external objects or surfaces!
Any active substance within your treated article must be approved, or have an application for approval for use in your specific product type. E.g. A substance used as an in-can preservative must be approved for “PT06-Preservatives for products during storage”. You must also check for any individual labelling requirements of the active substance. These can be found under the ‘Specific Conditions’ of the Annex in the Implementing Act authorising each Active Substance. They are not required for all active substances and may be unique to your substance/PT combination.
Unofficial consolidated version of UK BPR
One of the difficulties for companies selling biocidal products in the UK is that there is no official Consolidated version of UK BPR, so Alison has produced one for our in house use. It captures all the amends, appends and deletions from all the Statutory Instruments issued through Brexit transition and beyond.
We’ve also shared it with our email newsletter subscribers, who can download it from a page under the “newsletter” tab.
If you’d like a free copy, and you’re not already on our mailing list, you can sign up here: https://www.ghsclassificationcourses.com/home/news… . (You can always unsubscribe from the weekly email newsletter). I hope this is useful.
Biocides regulation works in the UK
The UK Active Substances List was initially a static copy of the EU Active Substance List which was taken at the time of Brexit transition. At the beginning of this year the HSE began the process of updating it based on information from UK participants who are supporting (or withdrawing support) from substances going forward.
We anticipate that a number of substance/product type combinations will be withdrawn over the following year as the HSE update their records. It is important to keep track of the status of any Active Substances that you are using.
The HSE has the ability to extend the review period for Active Substances and Biocidal Products (to enable them to handle the increased workload post-Brexit). However, there is no compliance deadline for Treated Articles. Suppliers of treated articles are responsible for keeping track of the BPR status of the active substance and any resulting additional labelling responsibilities.
If you have a Biocidal Product in the UK that has not yet been approved under the BPR, and its review is subject to an extension, then it may still be subject to the previous COPR legislation.
Biocide helpdesk: firstname.lastname@example.org
HSE guidance page: https://www.hse.gov.uk/biocides/
Current UK Active Substance list: https://www.hse.gov.uk/biocides/uk-list-active-substances.htm
HSE COPR guidance: https://www.hse.gov.uk/biocides/copr/
Deadlines extended for biocide re-registration in GB
Recent HSE news: The HSE has extended deadlines for 16 substance/ product type combinations as follows (15 substances, because one substance is registered for two types):
- IPBC; CAS no. 55406-53-6 ; Product type 8; 31-Dec-25
- Medetomidine; CAS no. 86347-14-0 ; Product type 21;3 1-Dec-25
- DDA Carbonate; CAS no. 894406-76-9 ; Product type 8; 31-Jan-26
- Acrolein; CAS no. 107-02-8 ; Product type 12; 28-Feb-26
- DCOIT; CAS no. 64359-81-5 ; Product type 8; 30-Jun-26
- Imidacloprid; CAS no. 138261-41-3 ; Product type 18; 30-Jun-26
- Propiconazole; CAS no. 60207-90-1 ; Product type 8; 24-Jul-26
- Metofluthrin; CAS no. 240494-71-7 ; Product type 18; 24-Jul-26
- Sulphuryl difluoride; CAS no. 2699-79-8 ; Product types 8 and 18; 24-Jul-26
- Alphachloralose; CAS no. 15879-93-3 ; Product type 14; 24-Jul-26
- Aluminium phosphide releasing phosphine; CAS no. 20859-73-8 ; Product type 14; 24-Jul-26
- Boric acid; CAS no. 10043-35-3 ; Product type 8; 24-Jul-26
- Bacillus thuringiensis;n/a ; Product type 18; 30-Sep-26
- Deltamethrin; CAS no. 52918-63-5 ; Product type 18; 30-Sep-26
- lambda-cyhalothrin; CAS no. 91465-08-6 ; Product type 18; 30-Sep-26
But this does not apply to every biocidal substance/ product type combination, for example the HSE also published forthcoming deadlines for 5 substance/ product type combinations:
Recent reminder on forthcoming biocidal substance/ product type combinations in the GB
Some deadlines are coming up quite quickly:
- Disodium tetraborate, pentahydrate ; CAS no. 12179-04-3 ; Product type 8; 24-Jul-23
- Bendiocarb; CAS no. 22781-23-3 ; Product type 18; 31-Jan-24
- Hydrochloric acid ; CAS no. 7647-01-0 ; Product type 2; 30-Apr-24
- Margosa extract from the kernels of Azadirachata Indica; CAS no. 84696-25-3 ; Product type 18; 30-Apr-24
- Undecan-2-one (methyl nonyl ketone) ; CAS no. 112-12-9 ; Product type 19; 30-Apr-24
By failing to automatically recognise EU biocidal registrations, the UK has essentially duplicated the amount of work required. This is a similar situation to UK-REACH. If only we had gone with a Swiss-style adoption, we could have maintained mutual recognition. Unfortunately the level of data transparency between member state authorities and the HSE does not appear to support this.
And of course, we mustn’t ignore the mysterious workings of the Northern Ireland Protocol which is being phased out in favour of the new Windsor Framework. As the situation stands today, any active substance/product type combination which is no longer registered for EU BPR must be withdrawn in Northern Ireland, even if it’s still valid in the UK, as per this example from a couple of weeks ago:
Withdrawn EU biocidal substance/ product type combination affecting NI as well
- Silver Nitrate; CAS no. 7761-88-8; Product type 7
Details of the decision is here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX%3A32022D2570
And in early March we also had some more withdrawn EU biocides:
More withdrawn EU biocidal substance/ product type combinations also affecting NI:
- Dialuminium chloride pentahydroxide; CAS no. 12042-91-0; Product type 2
- Sodium N-(hydroxymethyl) glycinate; CAS no. 70161-44-3;Product type 6
- Reaction mass of titanium dioxide and silver chloride; No CAS number; Product types 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11
- (benzyloxy)methanol; CAS no. 14548-60-8; Product type 13
- Silver chloride; CAS no. 7783-90-6; Product type 1
- 7a-ethyldihydro-1H,3H,5H- oxazolo[3,4-c]oxazole (EDHO); CAS no. 7747-35-5; Product types 6, 13
- cis-1-(3-chloroal-lyl)-3,5,7-triaza-1- azoniaadamantane chloride (cis CTAC); CAS no. 51229-78-8; Product types 6, 13
- Methenamine 3-chloroallylochloride (CTAC); CAS no. 4080-31-3; Product types 6, 12, 13
Remember that this applies to the EU and NI only. These biocide/ product type combinations remain legal in GB at the time of this newsletter.
GB BPR proposal will create (further) divergence from the EU
With all of the differences now appearing between the EU and UK, there’s currently a consultation on GB BPR which will crystallise differences between the two systems, making even more work for companies selling biocidal actives into both jurisdictions.
It’s been an “under the radar” UK biocides consultation on aligning with OECD tests etc: https://consultations.hse.gov.uk/crd-biocides/rev-… . Apologies for missing this consultation, when it came it out we were busy with EU classification and label consultation instead.
Ali writes: There are proposed revisions to Annexes II and III of GB BPR.
As a summary, the changes are mostly in line with Regulation 2021/525 which is already in force in the EU. However there are a few minor differences and three key differences in Sections 2, 6 and 8 of the Data Set required for Biocidal substances. This would mean that a UK dataset would not be accepted for an EU BPR registration.
The consultation closes 14th March, so if this affects you, please comment ASAP”.
Titanium Dioxide Appeal
France has launched an appeal on this ruling, see https://www.ecologie.gouv.fr/france-continue-defen… (you will have to choice to translate this website into English if you’re using Chrome as a browser).
Looks like this could be a protracted battle, although as Gabriele Scibilia of Flashpoint SRL commented “The “green wind” will hit the wall of scientific common sense!“
Many thanks to Yolanda Palacio Fatás of Chemservice Group for asking me about appeals, and to Samuel Charbonnier of Imerys who provided the link to the official announcement, showing how useful LinkedIn can be.
We have since heard that the EC is also appealing, and ECHA is supporting the appeals.
However, the appeal documentation hasn’t been made public yet (watch this space: Court of Justice).
All we know is that one of the appeal points is the claim that the European General Court ‘exceeded the limits of its judicial review by conducting its own evaluation and interpretation of the scientific data’. France have publicised this point of objection in their own media statements.
Donation links for international emergencies
There are a number of really serious incidents around the world, including the Turkey / Syria earthquake; the typhoon and earthquake in New Zealand; the Greek train crash; and we’ve just had the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine:
- Turkey / Syria https://www.dec.org.uk/appeal/turkey-syria-earthqu…
- New Zealand https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/cyclone-gabriell…
- Greek train crash: http://www.redcross.gr/default.asp?pid=40&la=1&artId=1660 (in Greek, use google translate)
- Ukraine https://www.oxfam.org.uk/oxfam-in-action/current-e…
With everything that’s going on in the world, we really need things to keep our spirits up, so I hope you enjoy this month’s recipe.
The Weekend Recipe
This is a “Royal Recipe” from Darren O’Grady for the Late Queen’s scones, which were apparently made for Garden Parties.
I was intrigued to see this recipe trialled in the Express, written by someone who clearly doesn’t understand how buttermilk is used as acid to trigger a reaction with baking soda to create CO2, although in this specific recipe it’s more to do with adding an extra layer of buttery flavour (as the recipe contains baking powder, which self-reacts in contact with moisture to create CO2 without the need of extra acid). Link here: https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/food/1732544/…
I have converted the units into Imperial measures for those of us who cook using them, and also given my own summary of the method, as the journalist’s version was a bit woolly.
- 17.6 oz (500g) Plain Flour
- 1 oz (28g) Baking Powder
- 94g Butter 3.3 oz
- 86g Sugar 3 oz
- 2 Whole Eggs
- 140ml Butter Milk 5 floz (¼ of a pint)
- 100g Sultanas (optional)
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, add the sugar and stir with a balloon whisk so the dry goods are all evenly distributed. Then add the butter, in chunks, and rub in with your fingers until you have an even crumb. Optional – add the sultanas at this stage. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk together in a separate bowl or large jug, then pour into the crumb mix and work to form a soft dough. Do not overwork. Then rest under clingfilm or a damp teatowel for half an hour.
Once rested, put the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface, and pat down gently to about 1 inch thickness (don’t use a rolling pin, you need to be delicate). Cut into rounds with a 2 1/2 inch cutter (plain edge, not crinkle edge is traditional), and place the 16 scones on 2 baking trays, spaced well apart, then rest again for a further 20 minutes. At this point, you can heat your oven (or nearer the baking time if you’re using gas which heats up more quickly than a cast iron stove).
Just before baking, wash the tops of the scones with eggy wash. Not the sides, because otherwise they won’t rise properly. If you’re baking in 2 batches, leave the eggy wash on the second batch until just before you pop it in the oven, otherwise the egg might soak in and not brown quite as nicely.
Findings: I had to give my scones about 15 minutes, as our oven is a bit temperamental. Check if the scones are cooked by turning over the palest one – should be golden beneath. If still white, not cooked. Serve the Cornish way – jam, with whipped cream on top; or the Devon way – whipped or clotted cream, with jam on top. The scones are very crumbly when you eat them slightly warm from the oven, but firmer when completely cool. One of our neighbours was very impressed “the best scones I’ve eaten” (still moist and buttery the next day, when a less rich scone might be a bit dry). A good recipe, one I will use again.
Reasons to be Cheerful
In February, we continued with our Young Sheldon sequence:
Sheldon vs the Flu
Young Sheldon mining platinum
Meemaw’s crochet and neutrinos
Sheldon wants more science!
Many thanks for reading this LinkedIn newsletter, and many thanks to everyone who has contributed. If you have anything you’d like to share, please email me and I’ll do my best to include it in the next newsletter.
It would be great if you’d like to subscribe to this newsletter, or even our weekly email one https://www.ghsclassificationcourses.com/home/news… (which includes access to the email archive).
Look forward to chatting to you in late March or early April.
Janet Greenwood, TT Environmental Ltd