News about Environment and Toxicology

June 2013


Chemicals

EU Commission corrects barriers in BPR regulation

A number of unintended market barriers have been identified in the upcoming Biocidal Products Regulation.

According to the transitional rules of the BPR, articles treated with biocidal substances, which are legal on the EU market but have not yet been evaluated, will have an unintended market freeze of up to eleven years when the BPR enters into force on 1 September. In addition, the BPR does not define a protection period for data relating to products with the most favourable risk profiles.

As a result, the Commission has issued a proposal to remove the above and other unintended market barriers. To view the proposal, read here.

The BPR will enter into force in its current form in September 2013. The above amendments are not expected to be adopted until late 2013.

Michael Fink
mif@dhigroup.com
Tel +45 4516 9156

Proposal on EU regulation of chemicals in textiles

Around 1,900 chemical substances have been identified as being used in textile production. Of these substances, 165 chemicals have harmonised classifications. A further 24 chemical substances without a harmonised classification can be found on the REACH Candidate List. Consequently, a need to substitute 189 chemicals used in textile production has been identified.

It is the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KEMI) that has carried out a survey of chemicals in textiles. Based on the survey, the idea of a coherent piece of EU legislation on hazardous chemicals in textiles has been proposed. The Textile Fibre Regulation (EC) No 1007/2011 is presented as the main regulatory option to regulate chemicals in textiles. In practice this implies that new articles are to be added to the Regulation.

View the report Hazardous chemicals in textiles here.

If you wish to discuss substitution of chemicals, please contact

Ann Detmer
ad@dhigroup.com

Update of Danish list of propellants in aerosol cans

The Danish EPA has initiated a public hearing concerning propellants and solvents for use in aerosol cans. Substances proposed for removal include ozone-depleting or fluoride-containing substances. Three of the proposed substances are also used in cosmetics:

  • 1-chlor, 1,1-difluormethan (F-142b)
  • Chlordifluormethan (F-22)
  • 1,1-difluoroethan (F-152a)


The Danish executive order on aerosols has not been updated since 1984. It is a so-called positive list, i.e. only substances on the list are allowed as propellants. Substances not on the list are prohibited. The updated list will also contain a number of new substances. It is expected to become effective from 1 January 2014 and will only be applicable for aerosols on the Danish market.

For more information, please contact


Helle M. Andersen
hma@dhigroup.com
Tel +45 4516 9023

Environment

Common bacterium the culprit of mysterious shrimp deaths

Researchers at the University of Arizona have identified the cause of the mysterious disease Shrimp Early Mortality Syndrome (EMS). Since 2009, EMS has infected shrimp ponds throughout Asia with death rates as high as 100% in some cases. The culprit is a toxin-producing strain of the bacterium Vibrio parahaemolyticus, commonly found in coastal waters around the globe.

Having identified the cause of EMS, more research is needed to better understand how the disease spreads and what countermeasures to take. Meanwhile, already established aquaculture and biosecurity best practices can help prevent EMS.

For more details, please refer to the article Breakthrough in the mystery of Asian shrimp farm deaths, published in AllAboutFood.

To learn more about DHI solutions in aquaculture, please contact

Torben Wilde Schou
tws@dhigroup.com
Tel +45 4516 9504

Improving data evaluation of ecotoxicological studies

Data evaluation is critical for proper risk assessment and is mandatory in more and more regulatory frameworks of environmental or chemical regulations. DHI has been participating in a project aiming at establishing a new methodology to evaluate ecotoxicological studies that is more transparent and rely less on expert judgment than the existing one.

The research project was led by the ecotox centre of the Swiss Competent Authorities (EAWAG) and assessed the Klimisch score evaluation system commonly used for study assessments in different regulations. However, recent studies have indicated the need for an updated evaluation system. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC Europe) in Glasgow in May.

For more information, please refer to our homepage or contact

Matthieu Duchemin
mdu@dhigroup.com

Food

EU proposes stricter control of food and feed

Almost 70 pieces of legislation will be reduced to just a handful. This is the main purpose of a new proposal from the European Commission. The proposal will affect the entire food and feed chain – from food, feed and live animals to plants and plant reproductive material. The proposed changes will support more effective control systems across the EU with the overall aim to ensure more consistent official controls. Main points in the proposal include

  • Mandatory user charge to finance implementation of official controls (with certain exemptions, e.g. for microbusinesses)
  • Major increase in the number of controls subject to mandatory charging
  • Simplification and harmonisation of procedures concerning import controls across the plant, animal, feed and food chains
  • Integration of anti-fraud checks into the national control plans
  • More severe financial penalties in cases of fraud

Public consultations in the member states and meetings with stakeholders will take place in the coming months. Due to the extensive amendments proposed, a final vote on the proposal is not expected until late 2014.

Learn more about the main elements of the Proposal here.

Helle Buchardt Boyd
hbb@dhigroup.com
Tel +45 4516 9097

Norway to assess copper and zinc in animal feed

Copper and zinc are added to feed as essential nutrients. However, research has shown that there is a high content of copper and zinc in manure, and that it may play a role in the development of antibiotics resistance. As a result the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has requested the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) to carry out a risk assessment of cobber and zinc from feed to soil and food.

VKM is to assess the long-term effects of repeated addition of manure to agricultural land. At the same time there is a need to know the risk for animal health and welfare if the amount of copper and zinc in feed is reduced.

In the EU, new guidelines are on the way which may impact the permissible levels of cobber and zinc in manure.

Helle Buchardt Boyd
hbb@dhigroup.com
Tel +45 4516 9097

Bisphenol A poses potential hazard to unborn children

Bisphenol A constitutes a potential hazard, particularly to the unborn children of exposed pregnant women. This is the conclusion in a report from April 2013 of the health risks associated with bisphenol A, published by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES). The conclusions confirmed the health effects of biophenol A identified by ANSES in a risk assessment in September 2011.

Do not substitute with other bisphenols
Food packaging plays a key role as regards exposure to bisphenol A. Following ANSES’s previous assessment, the French Parliament in December 2012 adopted legislation to suspend the manufacture, import, export and placing on the market of any packaging for food use containing bisphenol A. In the absence of additional scientific data, ANSES does not support the use of other bisphenols as an alternative to bisphenol A.

To view reports on bisphenol A from ANSES, click here.


Estelle Giovalle
egi@dhigroup.com
Tel +45 4516 9205



Life Science

Contagious teddy bears

Viruses are very common in Danish child care centres. A total of 97% of the samples from 23 centres contained pathogenic viruses. The viruses were both on large surfaces such as table tops and changing stations and on toys. The samples were taken in connection with the research project Children – improved welfare and health in children’s institutions. The main objective of the project is to block the path of infection for diseases such as the common cold.

Bacteria and viruses romp on surfaces
The project centres on surfaces as the hub of infectious diseases. Tables, chairs, toys, cushions, and even teddy bears are examined. An important part of the project is to develop methods to reduce transmission of diseases through these surfaces. As a result, one of the participating scientists is researching in development of antimicrobial coatings of nanometre-thin fibres for surfaces.

Danish readers can read more in an article published in the periodical Dansk Kemi or on the project's Danish homepage.

For more information, you are also welcome to contact the project manager

Eva Høy Engelund
ehe@dhigroup.com
Tel +45 4516 9096

Chinese herb to cure common poultry diseases

Coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis are among the most loss causing poultry diseases. Similarly, blackhead is a severe disease in free-range flocks with no current possibilities for treatment. The presently used antibiotic feed additives to control these diseases are expected to be banned within EU as soon as alternatives are available. This creates an urgent need for suitable alternative products.

The annual medicinal plant Artemisia annua, originating from China, contains such bioactive compounds with antiprotozoal and antibacterial effects. It has been established that A. annua can grow successfully in Denmark, and it is the aim to develop the plant into a high value crop for Danish farmers.

DHI has participated in the research project Production and use of Artemisia annua against parasites and bacterial diseases in poultry stocks supported by The Danish Council for Strategic Research. The results will be presented at a final symposium in Denmark on 27 June.

You can learn more about the project and the symposium here.

You are also welcome to contact

Torben Wilde Schou
tws@dhigroup.com
Tel +45 4516 9504

Meet Us

On 12 August, Michael Fink together with DHI’s German business partner UMCO is hosting a seminar on the new EU biocidal regulation for the members of the German trade organisation AGA in Hamburg, Germany.


Courses

Courses and seminars in Denmark
Browse all our courses and seminars in Danish here and English here.

Courses in Singapore
Environmental hazard assessment – basics (9 July)
Chemicals compliance and hazard communication (23 July)
GHS – classification and labelling of chemicals (August – final date to be announced)

For more information and registration, please refer to our course flyer

Course in Turkey
Two-day course in the EU Chemicals Regulation focusing on REACH, the Biocidal Products Regulation and the EU Cosmetics legislation.
Istanbul, 10 and 11 September 2013

For more information, please contact Vibeke Salmon at ves@dhigroup.com

Contact

DHI | Agern Allé 5 | 2970 Hørsholm | Denmark
Tel: +45 4516 9200 | Fax: +45 4516 9292 | www.tox.dhigroup.com



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