Thursday, June 21, 2012

Proposed Restriction On Chromium In Leather Products

Denmark has submitted a report proposing a restriction on the placing on the market of articles of leather coming into direct and prolonged or repetitive contact with the skin if the leather contains chromium VI (chromium +6) in concentrations above a certain limit. Chromium VI is not intentionally used in the preparation of leather from skins and hides and in the manufacturing of articles of leather, but may be formed during the processing. The presence of chromium VI in tanned leather and articles of tanned leather can be avoided, under properly controlled conditions.

According to the report, chromium VI is known amongst other effects to cause severe allergic contact dermatitis in humans and to be able to elicit dermatitis at very low concentrations. The dossier concludes that extractable chromium VI from shoes and other articles of leather represents a risk for the development of contact allergy to chromium for the consumers and workers.

Surveys of chromium VI in articles of leather in some of the Members States have demonstrated that more than 30% of the tested articles of leather contained chromium VI in concentrations above 3 mg/kg (which is the proposed concentration limit). ECHA has begun the public consultation on the restriction report, which will end on September 16, 2012. However, ECHA encourages interested parties to give their comments by June 1, 2012.

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