News USA

Europe begins consultation on food contact materials

The EC began a public consultation on February 11, 2019, on the evaluation of food contact materials (FCM). The purpose of the evaluation is to assess whether the current EU legislative framework for FCMs is fit for purpose and delivers as expected. The evaluation covers the functioning of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 (Regulation) in its entirety and the rules and tools provided for by the legislation, such as specific implementing measures. It also examines the situation concerning materials for which there are no EU measures and which are subject to permitted national measures. The consultation targets all stakeholders groups with an interest in the FCM legislation.

EPA issues final ruling banning Methylene Chloride from consumer products

Methylene chloride, also called dichloromethane, is a volatile chemical used in paint and coating removal products. In this final rule, EPA has determined that the use of methylene chloride in consumer paint and coating removal presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health due to acute human lethality. In order to address the unreasonable risk, EPA is prohibiting the manufacture (including import), processing, and distribution in commerce of methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal, including distribution to and by retailers; requiring manufacturers (including importers), processors, and distributors, except for retailers, of methylene chloride for any use to provide downstream notification of these prohibitions; and requiring recordkeeping. While EPA proposed a determination of unreasonable risk from the use of methylene chloride in commercial paint and coating removal, EPA is not finalizing that determination in this rule. EPA is soliciting comment, through an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, on questions related to a potential training, certification, and limited access program as an option for risk management for all of the commercial uses of methylene chloride in paint and coating removal.

EPA Announces 2018 Annual Environmental Enforcement Results

Highlights of EPA’s FY 2018 enforcement accomplishments include:

  • Commitments to treat, minimize, or properly dispose of over an estimated 540 million pounds of waste.
  • Commitments to reduce, treat, or eliminate 268 million pounds of pollution (air, toxics, and water).
  • Commitments to clean up over 244 million cubic yards of contaminated soil and water.
  • Prevention of the illegal importation of approximately 2,200 vehicles and engines that fail to comply with EPA emissions standards. 
  • Reduction of exposure to lead through 140 enforcement actions impacting lead paint against renovation contractors, landlords, property managers, realtors, and others.
  • Investment of nearly $4 billion in actions and equipment that achieve compliance with the law and control pollution.
  • Cleanups and redevelopment at over 150 sites through use of Superfund enforcement tools.
  • A total of 73 years of incarceration for individual criminal defendants.

California adds gentian violet and N-nitrosohexamethyleneimine to Proposition 65 list

Effective November 23, 2018, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is adding gentian violet and N-nitrosohexamethyleneimine to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer for purposes of the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65). At a public meeting on November 1, 2018, the Carcinogen Identification Committee (CIC) in its official capacity as the “state’s qualified experts” (SQE) determined that gentian violet and N-nitrosohexamethyleneimine were clearly shown by scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles to cause cancer.

Preparations for the 36th Session of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System International

This notice is to advise interested persons that on Tuesday, November 13, 2018, OSHA will conduct a public meeting to discuss proposals in preparation for the 36th session of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UNSCEGHS) to be held December 5 through December 7, 2018, in Geneva, Switzerland. OSHA, along with the U.S. Interagency Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Coordinating Group, plans to consider the comments and information gathered at this public meeting when developing the U.S. Government positions for the UNSCEGHS meeting. OSHA also will give an update on the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC).