Thursday, June 21, 2012

ECHA Proposes Restrictions On 1,4-dichlorobenzene Products

At the request of the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has submitted a report proposing a restriction on the placing on the market and use of 1,4-dichlorobenzene-based air fresheners and toilet blocks. These products are mainly used to deodorize public and domestic toilets.

1,4-dichlorobenzene has been classified as a category 2 carcinogen and affects the kidneys and respiratory tract. The dossier concludes that where 1,4-dichlorobenzene products are used, domestic users of toilet blocks and air fresheners as well as toilet attendants and cleaners are exposed above safe levels. This means that the risks from this substance in these two groups cannot be adequately controlled. The Annex XV report contains the background and justifications for the proposed restriction. It includes the description of identified risks, information on alternatives, the effectiveness of the restriction in reducing the risks and its costs.

Interested parties can comment on both the restriction proposal and the associated report using the webform on ECHA's 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 two committees on the proposed restriction are scheduled to be available by June 2013. Based on these opinions, the European Commission will take a decision on whether to introduce these restrictions into the REACH Regulation.

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