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Chemicals Coffee Time Monthly, July 2023

Dear Friend,

July was a very busy month with updates to various pieces of EU legislation (despite it being summer holiday time).

Speaking of which, we discovered that in Sweden, you have to take a 4 week holiday during the summer months, see https://www.oresunddirekt.dk/en/find-a-job-in-sweden/term-of-employment/taking-holidays-in-sweden . I wonder if it’s to allow people to make the most of the brief summer season before winter gloominess sets in? Although it’s been quite gloomy here with a lot of rainy days – the typical British summer!

There was also some news on a new suspected carcinogen from IARC, and some guidance on the definition of an article from ECHA which had slipped under the radar.

CLP label proposals in the EU update

Thank you very much to Serhii Lytynenko of Juul Labs, who has spotted that there has been another move in the game of 3-D chess which is the passage of the legislative act to amend the EU-CLP regulation.

Regular readers will be aware that the official purpose of this amendment is to amend the CLP articles to bring in the new hazard classes (Endocrine Disruptors, PBT/vPvB and PMT/vPvM), which has had unhelpful amendments to labelling slipped in almost “under the radar”.

The European Commission sent their proposals to the European Parliament, which were heavily amended by the Environment Committee. The Commission have now published their latest proposals, which you can find here (two pdfs to download):  https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2023/06/30/council-adopts-position-on-the-regulation-for-classification-labelling-and-packaging-of-chemical-substances/ . There is the negotiating agreement, and the Commissions Proposals

We’ve not had time to go through the details properly, but hope to be able to take a look next week, as it means cross referencing 3 documents at a time! I’d be happy to publish any comments or thoughts you have on this tricky area

The vote in parliament is due in the Autumn, so there’s not a lot of time to get any changes through which industry thinks are necessary.

Comments on the EU-CLP legislative act proposals

Nick Carroll writes: The EU Council proposal (29) on page 29 is a reminder that advertisements for a hazardous product should include most of the hazard elements. We currently include images of packed products in several of our brochures for professional and industrial users and we make sure the hazard pictogram is clearly visible. We will be reviewing sales literature for EU sales at the same time as addressing label formatting rules when they are confirmed. Proposal (37) seems to provide a never-ending get out clause in terms of timing though.

Many thanks to Nick for this timely reminder.

The provisional date for the vote on the CLP legislative act is currently set as October 2nd. There are negotiation positional papers available if anyone fancies a little light reading.

19th and 20th ATP to EU-CLP published

Breda Kosi emailed me on Tuesday 11th July: Today in OJ L, are 19 ATP and 20 ATP to CLP


Many thanks to Breda for spotting this!

The 19th and 20th ATP are a pair. The first (Commission Regulation 2023/1434) adds new notes to Annex VI of CLP. Whilst the second (Commission Regulation 2023/1435) makes modifications (and appends the new notes) to certain substances in Annex VI.

The new classifications may be used from 31st July 2023, but they must be used in the EU from 1st February 2025.

Overlap between articles, substances and mixtures

There was a query by Mel Cooke of Alchemy Compliance on the CHCS forum a few weeks ago, as he’s been concerned that some pens should be classified for CLP yet haven’t been. This prompted me to write to the HSE Helpdesk about whether a pen is a container for ink, or an article designed to release a mixture, because I’m a nerd, and I like to know things like that.

The status of mixture or article releasing a mixture isn’t just a theoretical question, as although both products will require CLP classification and labelling if they contain or release hazardous substances, there are different reporting duties on mixtures or articles to ECHA or the HSE. In both cases, C&L notification or REACH registration of substances in mixtures or intentionally released from articles will be required; but articles may trigger the SVHC reporting requirement as well.

The current state of play in the correspondence is that a normal pen is definitely a container for the ink, many thanks to the Helpdesk staff for their opinion. However, I have asked a second question – what about pens which are markers or highlighters which don’t have free ink, but a porous fibre wick which is designed to release chemicals.  And this morning, just in time for the newsletter, comes the reply:

In our opinion, this example could be considered analogous to the wet cleaning wipes example in the ECHA  guidance on requirements for substances in articles . It is concluded that these are a combination of substance/mixture (the ink) on an article (with the wick and casing functioning as a container and a carrier material).

However, as previously mentioned, it would be for the duty holder to follow the guidance and to determine if their products are articles under UK REACH.” Many thanks again to the HSE Helpdesk staff for their reply. Another learning point for me – substances on the surface of an article…

Leaving that particular issue on one side, it turns out that ECHA released a guidance document on this knotty topic back in March, which I had completely missed, but I thought it might be useful for anyone dealing with this kind of situation. Of course, there’s no mention of pens of any type in it!  https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/17240/borderline_cases_substances_articles_catalogue_en.pdf  .

There is however a FAQ on pens, which covers CLP labelling, but not the wider issue of how pens should be identified  https://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/qa1724  .

And, just to muddy the waters further, EWIMA, the European Writing Instrument Manufacturer’s Association issued guidance back in 2017 which states that they consider fibre tipped pens and ball point pens to be articles, see  https://cdn-s1.lyreco.com/staticswebshop/sds/NLNL/3515708.pdf  (but this will download a word document direct to your device rather than taking you to a web page).

Is it just me feeling my age, but wasn’t life much simpler under CHIP?

And in the following week’s newsletter, Phil Rowley writes: A comment about the ECHA ‘borderline’ document – like you I almost missed it and I think that we must have seen the same post on LinkedIn which mentioned it. I can’t remember any mention from ECHA that it was working to develop such a document – and certainly no mention of its publication in March. I really don’t see the point in ECHA producing this advice in a formal guidance document – surely other examples are bound to come along and the whole thing will have to go through the whole formal guidance update procedure. Why not just do it as an online ‘Q&A’-type list, which could be updated in seconds. Perhaps there’s something in the whole REACH legal text … The only thing similar to this which I’ve used is the attached extract from the ECHA guidance on articles (version 4.0 dated June 2017 – and still current),  ECHA guidance on articles – extract on polymer processing.pdf  which was useful to send to our customer queries – many of whom work in the plastics field. I’ve always tried to attach extracts from official documents as part of my replies to queries : it shows them that you’re telling them the ‘official line and they can also pass it on to a customer of there’s who might have prompted them to contact us.

Many thanks to Phil for his comments, and for the extract on polymer processing which may help newsletter readers

IARC news

Aspartame is just about to be classified as IARC Carcinogen 2B, see  https://www.linkedin.com/posts/craig-llewellyn-2b947226_iarc-monographs-meeting-124-night-shift-activity-7080184620792614912-At6W/

James Dawick of Innospec has very kindly posted a link to a good review of what happens to Aspartame in the body, and the results of several studies here:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8227014/

The oblique references in that link to non-GLP testing on rats from birth to death can only refer to the study we discussed last week, which was controversial due to its unusual test method. (details in https://www.ghsclassificationcourses.com/chemicals-coffee-time-21st-july-2023/; you can sign up here if you haven’t got a log-in: https://www.ghsclassificationcourses.com/home/newsletter-sign-up/ ).

We’re also providing links to the  IARC summary of Monograph 134  (infographic), and information on the  IARC classification scheme . Note that Monograph 134 has not actually been published yet! Although the Summary is in  The Lancet  (Registration Required). In addition,  JECFA and IARC have a joint report from their 96th meeting in which they discussed Aspartame.

UK DGSA list published

Good news from the UK’s Department for Transport – there’s now a list of DGSAs available on the UK government website at  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/find-a-dangerous-goods-safety-adviser  . This is intended to be for individuals who provide DGSA services to other companies, via their own business or as an employee, so if you are a DGSA only working internally, you may not have ticked the box to appear on this list. The list is being updated over time, so if you’re not listed but want to be, it should show up soon.

Of course, I have to congratulate the DGSAs among our lovely newsletter readers, including:

David Bonddavid@davidbondltd.com, Road & All Classes, expires 27/07/2025Colin Pratt B.Eng, C.Eng, AM.IMechE, M.Inst.R, DGSA ,colin.pratt@dangerousgoodsservices.co.uk, Road & All Classes, expires 21/04/2026Andy Linesandy.lines@totalcompliance.co.uk, Road & All Classes, expires 01/08/2027

Not forgetting our very own Tame DGSA, Ian Gascoyne of Freightsafe Dangerous Goods Training, i.gascoyne42@btinternet.com, who isn’t on this list yet but should be listed shortly. Ian is a trained chemist who combines many years experience in the chemical and chemical waste industry with his DGSA skills.

Hearing from the HSE

Huge thanks to Jans Babkevičs who has found a hard copy of EH64 – SUMMARY CRITERIA FOR OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE LIMITS, written by the HSE before ECHA was set up, and has very kindly shared it with industry on LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/posts/jans-babkevics_safety-health-exposure-activity-7089514629919338496-U2P8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_ios

Phil Rowley has also very kindly commented: Ref the old HSE document re OELs, it might be worth mentioning that HSE’s official test methods for a wide variety of toxic substances are still available here :-  https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/mdhs/  Even if a company isn’t doing the testing itself – as my former company did – they should insist that any outside company uses the relevant test method(s). And of course EH40 itself can be downloaded for free from the HSE website at  https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/eh40.pdf  (4th edition, 2020).

Chemical snippets

Process safety corner

Recent incidents:

Video explaining Piper Alpha causes:  https://www.linkedin.com/posts/dh04tch_minutetolearn-piperalpha-processsafety-activity-7082627088725225473-Bk1j

Andy Lines shared a very interesting post on the number of lithium battery fires in London alone this year: Stats from London Fire Brigade: 86 E-bike fires and 18 E-scooter fires this year alone! https://www.linkedin.com/posts/andy-lines-129b6542_e-bike-battery-exploded-like-grenade-and-activity-7090277764099932160-6F0h . Andy notes that there is a great deal of concern in the DGSA and Transport world about this, which does not seem to be on the UK regulators’ agenda yet.

A paper on corrosion under insulation:  https://www.linkedin.com/posts/tijs-koerts-0a67636_corrosion-under-insulation-for-better-understanding-ugcPost-7089585023644745730-rhVM

And a great idea from Andy Brazier – adding “no hazard” to risk matrices to show where a hazard has been removed entirely (in the comments to this post):  https://www.linkedin.com/posts/duncan-harwood_risk-riskmanagement-challengeassumptions-activity-7088660525617688576-GEEA  .

Infographic of the month

A lovely infographic on the chemistry of fireworks:  https://www.calpaclab.com/the-chemistry-of-fireworks/

The Weekend Read

An absolute must-read from Dr. Sean Moran CEng FIET in the current edition of Process Industry informer called “How safe are attention magnets?”:  https://magazine.processindustryinformer.com/books/ripj/#p=35

The Weekend Recipe

Anna Thomason of Aquaspersions Limited has sent through her Swedish friend’s authentic Swedish Cinnamon Roll recipe.

Ingredients for dough:

  • 35g Yeast
  • 100g sugar (Caster)
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 120g butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs ground cardamon (optional)
  • 750g flour

Ingredients for filling:

  • 100g butter
  • 50g brown sugar (substitute 10g with vanilla sugar optional)
  • 2 tbs cinnamon

Ingredients for glaze (optional)

  • egg wash with pearl sugar


Mix yeast with milk. Melt butter, put into mixing bowl. Add milk to butter. Add flour, sugar, salt, cardamon, egg. Mix and knead.

Rise for 30mins

While rising, prepare filling. Combine sugar, cinnamon and butter (room temperature) but don’t cream it! (some people butter then sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon i don’t know if it makes a difference…) I always make it like a crumble mixture almost?

When dough has risen, roll out… spread on filling.

Roll, cut, put on baking sheet and rise for about an hour. Makes about 25… or about 5 massive ones because they all merge together because I don’t give them enough space to rise….

Once risen, do egg wash, and sprinkle pearl sugar on.

Bake at 220C… until done….

Anna’s tip – for the vegan / dairy free. apparently the BBC recipe is pretty good.  https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/vegan_cinnamon_buns_62664

Many thanks to Anna, these do look most delicious

Reasons to be Cheerful

Our July Reasons to be Cheerful were quite varied:

  • 7th July: It’s a Southern Thing – if Southern families had referees –    .
  • 14th July: Peter Kay, Being British:
  • 21st July: Alison Potts suggested a Mitchell and Webb Reason to be Cheerful, this one is The Moon Landings:
  • 28th July Another Mitchell and Webb this week – “Discoverer”:

And did you know there are 4 types of luck? https://www.linkedin.com/posts/sahilbloom_a-cheat-code-i-wish-i-knew-at-18-the-4-activity-7089211050046152704-m3vT. (Or perhaps that should be 5 – there’s a business saying “the harder someone works, the luckier they get…”)

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 or send a DM, 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 August or early September

Kind regards,


Janet Greenwood, TT Environmental Ltd

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