On December 17, 2020, news provider Chemical Watch reported on the results of the December meeting of the European Chemicals Agency’s Risk Assessment Committee (ECHA RAC). It agreed on classifying melamine (CAS 108-78-1) as category 2 carcinogen and bisphenol S (BPS, CAS 80-09-1) as category 1b reproductive toxicant, following the proposals by Germany and Belgium under the EU’s Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulation.
Melamine is a constituent of melamine-formaldehyde plastics, often used to make tableware and commonly referred to as ‘melaware.’ It is also a component of the so-called ‘bamboo’ materials, recently reported releasing higher melamine amounts compared to conventional plastics (FPF reported). In their proposal, the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) concluded that melamine is “possibly carcinogenic to humans” with “sufficient evidence in animals but not enough for definitive decision in humans,” hence the classification as category 2 carcinogen.
BPS is often used as a replacement for bisphenol A (CAS 80-05-7), which is a recognized reproductive toxicant and endocrine disruptor (FPF reported). The industry has self-classified BPS as a category 2 reproductive toxicant. In their report, the Belgian authority (FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment) concluded that the available data justifies classifying this substance as category 1B reproductive toxicant. In addition, Belgium is currently evaluating BPS as a potential endocrine disruptor under the community rolling action plan (CoRAP), with results expected in 2021.
BAuA (November 2019). “CLH report. Proposal for Harmonised Classification and Labelling. Based on Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (CLP Regulation), Annex VI, Part 2 International Chemical Identification: 1,3,5-triazine-2,4,6-triamine; Melamine.” ECHA
FPS Public Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment (October 2019). “CLH report Proposal for Harmonised Classification and Labelling Based on Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (CLP Regulation), Annex VI, Part 2 International Chemical Identification: 4,4’-sulphonyldiphenol; bisphenol S” ECHA
Emma Davies (December 17, 2020). “Echa Rac agrees on classifications for melamine and BPS.” Chemical Watch