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ENVIRONMENT: RECOMMENDATIONS ON RISK ASSESSMENT OF DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES.

The new Recommendations adopted by the Commission concern the following products:Recommendation C(2002)2486.- o-anisidine (C7H9NO - a substance used as an medium in the manufacture of colourings and pigments): the Commission considers that regarding the evaluation of risks to workers and consumers and human exposure via the environment, specific measures need to be taken to reduce additional risks in view of general systemic toxicity, mutagenicity and carcinogenicity as a consequence of dermal exposure arising from textiles coloured with dyes based on the substance. By contrast, regarding human health (physico-chemical properties) and the environment (atmosphere, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and micro-organisms in waste-water treatment plants), the Commission considers that the risk reduction measures already applied are sufficient. As a result, the Commission recalls that Directive 90/394/EEC applies in respect of the protection of workers and that as a consequence the enterprises concerned have an obligation to ensure that exposure arising from the installation of gas compensation pipes is reduced to as low a level as technically possible, and that scope for using substitute processes or substances posing a lower risk to the health and safety of workers are taken into account. Regarding consumers, the Commission indicates that the 19th modification of Directive 76/769/EEC concerning restrictions on the marketing and use of colourings applies and is an effective means of reducing the risks stemming from the release of o-anisidine by dyed textiles and clothing to a minimum. The Commission therefore calls for the immediate implementation of this modification, adding that the effectiveness of the measure should be ensured through the introduction of adequate monitoring programmes.- 1.4-dioxane (C4H802 - a substance used as a processing solvent in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, magnetic tape, adhesives and other products). The Commission considers that additional measures need to be taken to protect workers. Whilst it believes that existing legislation on the safety of workers applies in this case, it perceives a need for and recommends complementing legislation through the definition at the Community level of limits for exposure to the substance in the workplace. By contrast, it does not believe there is any need at this stage to secure additional information or to undertake further trials regarding the protection of consumers or the environment in general, deeming the risk reduction measures currently applied to be sufficient.Recommendation C(2002)2490.- ethyl acetoacetate (C6H1003 - a substance used as a medium in the manufacture of drugs, phyto-pharmaceutical products, stabilising additives and catalysts, in a series of household products and cosmetics, as a food additive, in the manufacture of colour films, as an impregnation agent in paper and as a solvent in paints and varnishes).- 4-chloro-o-cresol (C7H7ClO - a substance used as a base product in the manufacture of herbicides).- dimethyldioctadeccylammonium chloride (C38H80N.CL - a substance used as a textile softener and synthesis agent in organic clays, as an additive in cosmetics including shampoos and hair-care products, an emulsifying agent in lotions and in car cleaning products).The Commission concludes that there is not need at the present juncture, in respect either of workers, consumers or the environment, to secure additional information or to proceed with further trials of these products. Evaluations having highlighted no particular risks, it considers that the risk reduction measures currently applied are sufficient.--The marketing of dangerous substances is regulated by a series of Directives and Regulations which require on the one hand risk reduction through limits on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (Directive 76/769/EEC), and on the other, an evaluation and risk monitoring obligation (Council Regulation EEC 793/93 laying down provisions on the collection of information and the evaluation of substances, and Commission Regulation EC 1488/94 on the necessary principles and procedures for this evaluation). Other references on risk evaluation include Community provisions on the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances (Council Directive 67/548), on the protection of workers against the risks linked to chemical agents (Directive 98/24/EC), against the risks linked to exposure to carcinogenic agents (Directive 90/394) and on the protection of pregnant women, new and breast-feeding mothers in the workplace (Directive 92/85/EC). Under these provisions and their successive adaptations to scientific and technical progress, lists of priority products and substances for evaluation have been drafted. To date, the Commission has already published three Recommendations under Regulation 793/93 covering 11 of these priority substances.--
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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EU
Date:Jul 6, 2002
Words:735
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