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European Chemicals Agency Proposes Expanded Regulations

Chemical Controls: Trichloroethylene and seven other compounds targeted

by Cheryl Hogue
March 8, 2010 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 88, Issue 11

Trichloroethylene and seven other compounds would be potentially singled out for tight regulation under March 8 proposals published by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

The proposals, initiated by Denmark, France, and Germany, would classify TCE, three boron-containing compounds, and four chromates as substances of very high concern because they can potentially harm human health. The eight chemicals are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction, according to ECHA.

If European Union member states agree these chemicals should be classified as "substances of very high concern," ECHA will place them on a list of compounds that are candidates for authorization, a strict form of regulation. If they are selected for this level of control, chemicals can only be used if ECHA grants a specific authorization.

In addition to TCE, the chemicals are boric acid, anhydrous disodium tetraborate, tetraboron disodium heptaoxide hydrate, sodium chromate, potassium chromate, ammonium dichromate, and potassium dichromate.

The announcement kicks of a 45-day comment period. The agency is seeking information on hazardous properties that qualify the chemicals for special treatment as well as information on uses, exposures, and safer alternatives.

Detailed information about the proposals is available at:



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