On September 15, 2015 the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced that its Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) has adopted the opinion to restrict the manufacture, marketing and use of pentadecafluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, CAS 335-67-1), its salts and PFOA-related substances, as well as of articles and mixtures containing these substances. Also, ECHA’s Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) has agreed on a draft opinion for restriction of PFOA and PFOA-related substances. RAC’s and SEAC’s opinions are in support of the restriction proposal by Germany and Norway. However, for reasons of enforceability, RAC and SEAC support higher concentration limits as compared to the original proposal, and SEAC suggests several additional derogations and a longer transitional period. PFOA was identified as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) due to its persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) properties and was included on the Candidate List under the European regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) in 2013.

In addition, SEAC has agreed on a draft opinion on the proposal by France to restrict the placing on the market of thermal paper containing bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7). SEAC considers the proposed restriction “unlikely to be proportionate from an economic efficiency perspective.” In June 2015, RAC concluded that the risk for workers handling thermal paper is not adequately controlled and thus supports the French proposal (FPF reported).

SEAC will launch 60-day public consultations on the draft opinions on PFOA and BPA in September 2015 and will adopt the final opinions in December 2015. Based on RAC’s and SEAC’s opinions, the European Commission (EC) will ultimately decide on the restriction of PFOA and BPA and their inclusion in the Restriction List (Annex XVII) of REACH.

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ECHA (September 15, 2015). “RAC concludes on PFOA restriction.

ECHA (September 15, 2015). “SEAC concludes on Bisphenol A, DecaBDE and PFOA restrictions and finalises two opinions for authorization.