ECHA has prepared a report, on the request of the European Commission, suggesting restrictions on several mercury containing measuring devices. A report from Norway is suggesting a ban on five phenylmercury substances. ECHA starts today the six-month public consultation period on these proposals. ECHA, however, encourages interested parties to send in their comments by 24 December 2010.
Norway proposed to restrict five phenylmercury substances. These substances are mainly used as catalysts in the production of polyurethane coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers. The life-cycle of the phenylmercury compounds leads to the release of mercury to the environment.
In the restriction report Norway suggests that these substances should not be manufactured, placed on the market or used as a substance or in mixtures in concentrations above 0.01 % weight by weight. The same concentration limit would apply for the substances in articles or homogenous parts of articles. In order to give time for the replacement of the substances by alternatives, Norway proposes that the restriction take effect 5 years after entry into force of the restriction.
Mercury in measuring devices
At the request of the European Commission, ECHA reviewed the
availability of reliable safer alternatives to mercury containing
measuring devices. As a result, ECHA has now prepared a restriction
report proposing to restrict mercury in several measuring devices that
are used in industrial and professional settings (thermometers,
sphygmomanometers, barometers, manometers, metering devices for the
determination of softening point, pycnometers and strain gauges).
Mercury in measuring devices intended for the general public is already
restricted. With this proposed restriction, the listed mercury
containing measuring devices in industrial and professional use would be
prohibited (with some minor derogations) from being imported or placed
on the market in the EU after 18 months from the entry into force.
ECHA invites comments on the above restriction report
Interested parties can comment on the proposals and the restriction
reports (so called Annex XV reports) via the ECHA website. Comments will
be reviewed and taken into account by the ECHA Committees for Risk
Assessment (RAC) and Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC).The final opinions
of the committees on the proposed restrictions are scheduled for
September 2011. Based on these opinions, the European Commission will
take the decisions whether to introduce additional restrictions into the
The Annex XV reports contain the background and justifications for
the proposed restrictions. They include the identified risks,
information on alternatives, the effectiveness of the restriction in
reducing the risks and costs of the restriction.
Although the six-month public consultation concludes on 24 March
2011, the Rapporteurs of RAC and SEAC would appreciate receiving
comments by 24 December 2010 to assist them in the detailed discussion
of the restriction proposal in January 2011.
Source: ECHARelated Information ECHA: Information on the restriction process under the REACH Regulation ECHA: Information on the restriction report on phenylmercury substances ECHA: Information on the restriction report on mercury in measuring devices EVISA : All about phenylmercury compounds EVISA Brief summary: REACH: Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Related EVISA News March 10: 2010: ECHA suggests further chemicals for SVHC list October 9, 2009: REACH: Substances of very high concern June 5, 2009: EU bans certain organotin compounds September 18, 2008: REACH Update: List of 300 chemicals of very high concern June 3, 2008: European Chemicals Agency opens in Helsinki
last time modified: September 25, 2010