« Seac says ban on BPA-containing thermal paper ‘unlikely to be proportionate’
A proposal to ban thermal paper, containing bisphenol A, from the EU market received a mixed response, last week, from Echa’s Socio-Economic Analysis Committee (Seac).
According to Echa, the committee’s draft Opinion says the proposed ban, which would take the form of a REACH restriction, was “unlikely to be proportionate from an economic efficiency perspective”.
But Seac also decided it might have “favourable distributional and affordability considerations”, the agency said.
The Opinion was « nuanced », chairman Tomas Oberg told Chemical Watch.
A 60-day public consultation on the draft Opinion was due to be launched on 16 September. The committee’s final Opinion is expected in December.
Earlier this year, the proposed ban received the backing of Echa’s Risk Assessment Committee on the grounds that thermal paper products, such as till receipts, presented an uncontrolled risk to workers.
Once Seac has agreed its final Opinion – which may be different from the draft – it will be sent, along with Rac’s, to the European Commission, which then has three months to prepare a proposal for amending REACH Annex XVII – the list of restrictions.
When doing so, the Commission can depart from the Opinions submitted by Rac and Seac, but must explain its reasons for doing so.
It is not obliged to go back to those committees with a restriction text, but may proceed to submit it to the REACH Committee of member state representatives. »
Article by Geraint Roberts
Echa press release : http://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/seac-concludes-on-bisphenol-a-decabde-and-pfoa-restrictions-and-finalises-two-opinions-for-authorisation
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