Happy Friday! I hope the snow, if you have it, is not inconveniencing you too much.
Meg, our elderly cocker spaniel, went from refusing to go out on Wednesday because the east wind was too cold for her, to dancing about in the deeper snow on Thursday, and even picking play-fights with Islay, our younger dog.
And this morning we have 4 to 5 inches of snow, with drifts of 4 to 5 feet in places, so it’ll be interesting to see if the snow plough comes along our road this morning! Our conditions are likely to be much worse than lower down the valley, as yesterday a couple of friends reported no snow on the ground where they live, a few hundred feet below us.
On days like this, it’s easy to think we’d be cut off from civilisation for weeks, but there is a thaw due on Monday, and we should be able to have our Chemical Regulations Self Help Group meeting on Tuesday at Halifax Bradley Hall Golf Club as usual.
In case the weather doesn’t behave as predicted and I can’t leave the house, the in-person meeting can run perfectly well without me; or, if we need to move to Zoom-only, I will let our attendees know as soon as I can via email.
It’s another bumper newsletter, but several points where you may find yourself spilling coffee over the screen at the idiocy of some people. But first, something (relatively) sensible.
Breaking news – new REACH codes required for Customs declarations on chemical tariff codes in the EU and UK
This is a real “Under the Radar” issue which started on 7th February and is only now starting to bite. Briefly, as part of the EU REACH enforcement programme, customs officials are now looking for some evidence of ‘REACH compliance’ for EU imports.
This new requirement has been brought in via an existing customs provision called “tariff document codes”, which have traditionally been used for things like seeds and agricultural products, but this is the first time they’ve been applied to chemicals.
In practical terms, this means that each Member State, and the UK, have had to add an extra 4 digit data code for products with certain tariff codes for import (EU). This declarable code should be listed in Data Element 2/3 of the customs declaration.
The applicable union codes that may be entered into Data Element 2/3 referring to REACH are:
C073 “REACH Authorisation, according to Title VII of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006”
Y105 “Generic exemption from REACH authorisation (Art. 56 of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006)”
Y106 “Compliance with the REACH restrictions defined in Column 2 of Annex XVII”
Y109 “Specific exemption from REACH authorisation (exempted (categories of) use listed in Annex XIV”
Y110 “Exemption from REACH restrictions by virtue of Article 67(1) and 67(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006”
Y113 “Product not subjected to the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (Annex XVII) Complete statement “Reg. 1907/2006 Exempt”. Use of this code constitutes a legal declaration that the goods are exempt from the provisions of Regulation (EU) No 1907/2006.
Y115 “Exemption from Authorisation (Title VII) Article 2 point 5 and 8 of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006”
We’re not keen on the wording of these and have already seen several different interpretations, and suggestions that there may be a ‘misprint’ or just unintended phrasing. In particular we’ve given you the full phrasing for Y113. You can see that the title states ‘not subject to provision of the REACH restrictions‘, but then the description states a ‘legal declaration that the goods are exempt from the provisions of REACH’ – which are very different things!
It’s important to note that when these were introduced (only 1 month ago) there were just 3 possible codes. This has already been expanded to 7! We anticipate that there may still be amendments or additions as this new policy settles in.
Customs officials may ask for ‘evidence’ to support the Code that you have supplied. At the current time, there is no definition of suitable evidence, they may accept your SDS if you have consistent information listed in Section 15. But you may need to prepare a separate statement to get your product released from customs (if you have a particularly stubborn customs agent!)
The UK list can be downloaded from this webpage https://www.gov.uk/guidance/data-element-23-document-status-codes-of-the-customs-declaration-service-cds as an .ods file (open document spreadsheet) which can be converted to .xls and thence to the more stable .xlsx format.
Hearing from the HSE
No sooner have we issued our monthly summary of February’s emails on our LinkedIn Newsletter as a Biocides Special, then the HSE and ECHA put out even more BPR information! Where’s that “banging your head against a brick wall” emoji when you need it?
Anyhow, the HSE have published a list of Biocides and Product Type combinations which are no longer valid in the UK/ GB for a variety of reasons, which you can download here (a mere 25 pages!): https://www.hse.gov.uk/biocides/non-compliant-notifications.pdf . Light bed-time reading for the insomniac…
Keeping an eye on ECHA & the EC
And the EC has just pulled several biocide/product type combinations late last week and earlier this week:
- 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
Full details at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32023D0458&qid=1678198626568&from=EN
Note that this applies to the EU and NI only. These biocide/ product type combinations remain legal in GB at the time of this newsletter.
DBNPA (CAS#: 10222-01-2) was evaluated and rejected by the EC for Biocidal Product Type 4. If you were using it in Treated Articles (whilst under review), these must now be withdrawn in the EU/NI.
Full Details: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32023D0459
D-Allethrin (CAS#: 231937-89-6) was evaluated and rejected by the EC for Biocidal Product Type 18. If you were using it in Treated Articles (whilst under review), these must now be withdrawn in the EU/NI.
Full Details: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32023D0470
The expiry of imidacloprid (CAS#: 18261-41-3) in Product Type 18 was set for June 30th 2023. This has been extended to December 31st 2025 for the EU/NI.
Full Details: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32023D0460
The expiry of (DCOIT) 4,5-Dichloro-2-octyl-2H-isothiazol-3-one (CAS#: 64359-81-5) in Product Type 8 was set for June 30th 2023. This has been extended to December 31st 2025 for the EU/NI.
Full Details: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32023D0471
Not more EU divergence….
If you are a CHCS member, you will have spotted that Elaine Campling of Chemical Compliance Advisory Services has very kindly provided the links to the EU’s notification to the WTO of the 21st ATP to CLP, which are here https://members.wto.org/crnattachments/2023/TBT/EEC/23_1426_00_e.pdf and here https://members.wto.org/crnattachments/2023/TBT/EEC/23_1426_01_e.pdf .
It’s a straw in the wind, rather than a definitive implementation – don’t do anything about these new classifications until they are brought into EU law. But good to get an early warning.
The draft contains 28 substances which are proposed for addition to Annex VI (Harmonised Classification and Labelling Table), and 24 substances which are already present on Annex VI but have proposed modifications to their classification.
For GB based readers, the amended substances are those that will cause the most disruption. When the EU mandates a different classification from the HSE (Mandatory Classification List – MCL) it can present logistical nightmares for labelling of products!
One rule for “green products”, another for “traditional” chemicals?
Now for one of those “coffee warnings”, where you may wish to finish your beverage before reading further.
Are you aware that much lower standards of protection for human health are being applied to novel fuels than to traditional fuels and chemicals? https://www.propublica.org/article/chevron-pascagoula-pollution-future-cancer-risk
Some quotes of interest: “the production of one of the fuels could emit air pollution that is so toxic, 1 out of 4 people exposed to it over a lifetime could get cancer.” and “That risk is 250,000 times greater than the level usually considered acceptable by the EPA division that approves new chemicals.” (my bold – do you think any novel chemical would get the go-ahead from the EPA with that toxicological profile?)
Regular readers will be aware of the term “chemophobia”, to describe an irrational fear of chemicals among the “scientifically-challenged” members of society, despite the fact that they are themselves composed entirely of chemicals.
So I was intrigued to come across a variation on this word called “chemicosmetophobia”, an irrational fear of chemicals in cosmetics. You can find it here (the comments are worth a read as well): https://www.linkedin.com/posts/alizafranklin_chemicosmetiphobia-the-fear-of-chemicals-activity-7037451216389361664-Xc1P/
James Dawick comments on LinkedIn – CTPA have issued a lot of guidance and help on the topic of “free from” claims…..but “chemical free” doesn’t feature. Probably because it’s so bloody ridiculous! https://www.ctpa.org.uk/news/cosmetic-claims-focus-on-free-from-claims-4115
And please don’t get me started on the “our products are not tested on animals” fiasco, promoted by Body Shop in the 1980s…. when the ingredients for said products all had to be tested. A triumph of misleading marketing over the truth. And it’s still going on today: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/alizafranklin_john-paul-mitchell-hit-with-suit-alleging-activity-7034194627268100096-gZ_Y/
What would young women (the target market) think if they learned that if animal testing was not used for chemical substances, humans, specifically the end users would become the guinea pigs (and potentially any unborn children they were carrying at the time)?
The parallels between these older marketing claims and the newer marketing claims of “chemical free” products are striking, and it is incumbent on the wider chemical industry to call out the cosmetics industry’s dubious marketing practices. Otherwise we are tacitly accepting the promotion of incorrect information, and allowing ignorance to prevail over truth. Satan is not called “the Father of Lies” for nothing…
QR code labelling – is this a first?
Brazil permits cosmetic ingredient labelling by QR code: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/yolanda-grunewald_brazil-portuguese-labelling-of-cosmetic-activity-7036951641157197825-3wFs?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop
Chemsec loses the plot on PFAS
There has been a lot of publicity around the recent PFAS restriction proposal in the EU, https://echa.europa.eu/-/echa-publishes-pfas-restriction-proposal (some Member States are already on board with this) and CHemSec have jumped on this bandwagon for all they’re worth, see https://pfas.chemsec.org/
Alan Ritchie of WSP comments – complete exaggeration of their own importance – the number of uses is a lot less than actual – they’re making out they’re saving the world!
He even came up with this quote from Disraeli to explain it: “inebriated with the exuberance of their own verbosity“. The full quote is here: https://libquotes.com/benjamin-disraeli/quote/lby3k6n
Ali notes that “ChemSec operates ‘ChemScore’ which rates chemical companies on their ‘Green’ credentials producing a combined score based on their commitment to reduce use of hazardous chemicals, increase sustainability and commit to phasing out PIC, POP, and other chemicals of high concern. If a company does not provide detailed information (including manufacturing volumes!) to the NGO then their score drops!
The ChemScore is provided to key investors who hold in excess of $8 trillion of assets in chemical companies. It seems unfair that a lobbying NGO gets to apply so much pressure to companies who are complying with all regulations and may well be following their own internal standards (ISO, SASB, Responsible Care etc…). No one should be compelled to fork over information to ChemSec just prevent them ‘releasing the hounds’.”
More ChatGPT dangers
Lyle Burgoon comments on LinkedIn:
#chatgpt is a public menace when it comes to toxicology. See my conversation with it here:
. I thought I’d throw it a softball: Is octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane estrogenic? OMG — the responses I got! Complete with fabricated journal articles (and a working DOI — to a paper about arsenic and baby birds). This is definitely not #responsibleai .
The comments under this LI post are also worth reading, see https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7037448372152143872/
And more evidence of made up papers: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/vonhendy_regulatoryaffairs-law-science-activity-7039349268943400961-uojA/
Jobs update (UK stats from LinkedIn)
Regulatory Affairs jobs: 1,337; Health and Safety jobs: 48,689
Regulatory affairs manager job in the NW: https://vrs-regulatory.net/regulatory-affairs-jobs/regulatory-compliance-manager
Process Safety Corner
- Fuel depot fire, Indonesia, 17 dead and many evacuated https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-64847062 , thanks to David Hatch of Process Safety Integrity for highlighting this on LinkedIn
- 12 people killed in Nigeria after a pipeline explosion https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7037571421790715904/ . One person on LinkedIn commented “Social Hazard by illegal tapping out of Pipeline still happen and common Hazard in the oil and gas sector in the world, they have community (mafia) to manage the illegal tapping even controlled by the unscrupulous the company itself“. Absolutely appalling to contemplate that, if it’s true (and I would think it is in certain parts of the world).
- At least 6 dead following an oxygen plant explosion, Bangladesh: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/kazymlepessov_report-oxygen-plant-explosion-in-bangladesh-activity-7038924225419563008-jg8_ /
- Tanker explosion kills one, Maryland USA: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7038196571594719232/
- Yet another lithium battery fire, this time from a charging e-bike: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/paul-christensen-a2bb6b82_fdny-on-instagram-an-e-bike-battery-started-activity-7038768872987992064-xqpd/
- And a cooling tower on fire at a Brazilian steel works: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/gustavo-coelho-de-castro-249a519a_inc%C3%AAndio-atingiu-a-csn-companhia-sider%C3%BArgica-ugcPost-7036428776628469760-YTh4/
Human error and railways: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/davidslater_greek-train-crash-official-accused-of-hitting-activity-7037470099519234049-_ZhP/
Shift work and errors – a must-read article for anyone with responsibility for shift workers, particularly those dealing with hazardous materials: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/benhutchinson2_just-summarised-a-paper-that-studied-the-activity-7037905722545762304-D4kw/
And a very scary picture of a process tower containing butadiene lifting off like a missile https://www.linkedin.com/posts/sara-dos-santos_findings-bestpractice-pha-activity-7038918737789415424-Vk5Q/
The Weekend Read
An excellent summary of the proposed EC CLP label changes from Alan Ritchie – https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:7038869782787444736/ . Please read, like, share and comment on the article to get it spread as widely as possible.
And don’t forget to comment on these ludicrous proposals to the EC (scroll down the page to find the open consultation). The consultation now ends on the 30th March 2023. https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/12975-Revision-of-EU-legislation-on-hazard-classification-labelling-and-packaging-of-chemicals_en
The Weekend Recipe
Time for another “winter warmer” with all this snow. One of the jobs Mike has taken on in his “retirement” (along with voluntary game-keeping) is batch cooking for the freezer, and he will cook up a large batch of mince with onion, grated carrots and finely chopped celery, and some beef stock (use stock cubes eg Oxo), and freeze it in soft butter tubs. That means it’s ready to take out, thaw out during the day, and turn into a different dish, like chilli con carne, which I usually make.
Quick unauthentic chilli con carne
- Enough cooked mince for 2 people (with onion and plenty of veg, as above)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tin kidney beans (or tinned borlotti beans if you don’t have any)
- 1 small tin sweetcorn (Jolly Green Giant original)
- A red pepper (fresh or frozen; other colour peppers are allowed, but green are unripe and may need to be cooked for longer)
- Tomato ketchup
- Tomato puree
- Chilli spice mix to taste – you can buy premixed; or use a mexican style spice mix, we often use Old El Paso fajita seasoning in our chilli – it’s not too hot, but has a good flavour; or make your own, as I do sometimes, from red chillis, cumin, oregano, ginger etc. For example this one looks interesting: https://amindfullmom.com/diy-chili-seasoning/ but you should do your own research and testing (which is half the fun of cooking, of course! just don’t put too much chilli in and make the dish inedible).
- Heat up your cooked mince until boiling hot, and add in the beans to heat through
- Add in the spice mix and cook through for a couple of minutes to spread the flavour round and help the spices “cook out”. How much spice depends on the amount of chilli in it, and the amount of other ingredients. I’d start with a couple of (flat) teaspoons and add more if required. You can’t take heat out easily!
- Then add the chopped tomatoes, beans and sweetcorn, and stir well. The mix should be quite wet. Add some salt, to taste.
- Leave to simmer for about half an hour (or 10 minutes if in a hurry – everything is already cooked, it’s just a question of blending flavours together).
- Just before serving add in a couple of squirts of tomato puree, and about half the amount of tomato ketchup – this should thicken up the sauce a bit, and beef up the tomato flavour nicely
Serve with plain rice, and plain yoghurt (or sour cream) if you’ve made it a bit spicier than you’d like. This is a mid-week meal for us, so I wouldn’t bother with salsa normally (chopped tomato and pepper and some red onion), but I might if making this at the weekend. Guacamole is another optional extra.
Leftovers do well wrapped in tortillas with a bit of lettuce, tomato and cucumber, and some Greek yoghurt or soured cream. If you are gluten intolerant, wrap in a large lettuce leaf instead.
This chilli recipe doubles the mince (at least – we sometimes get 5 servings, instead of 2) so it’s quite economical, warming and tasty. If you prefer more meat, reduce the tinned vegetables (or increase the cooked mince quantity), but it won’t have a 5:2 chilli to mince servings ratio.
Infographic of the week
Why organisations don’t learn https://www.linkedin.com/posts/andreasvonderheydt_leader-leadership-growth-activity-7030915335566290945-woTw/
Reasons to be Cheerful
It’s time for a new series of Reasons to Be Cheerful, and I thought The Sketch Show might hit the spot. Today’s video is “Phobias workshop”
And have you seen the news that Toblerone won’t have the Matterhorn on its labels any more as it’s not being made in Switzerland? See https://www.livemint.com/news/world/toblerone-to-drops-its-iconic-mountain-logo-here-s-why-11678074968094.html . Mike asks, “why stop there? if it’s being made in a flat bit of Slovakia, surely it should be turned into a flat bar?”
Congratulations to our friends at Hibiscus, the chemical label experts, who have just installed solar panels on their factory roof. This is where solar panels belong, not on green field sites which should be used for agriculture or horticulture.
Many thanks for reading this newsletter, and many thanks to everyone who has contributed to it this week. As usual, 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.
I hope you have a good day today, and a lovely weekend with your family and friends. Take care, stay safe and I hope to be able to write to you next week.
TT Environmental Ltd
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