The News section as well as the Newsletter will be provided in English. The News articles can be sorted by four categories: SUBSPORT Project News, Events & Training, Legislation and Publications & Tools. A click on a category name in red directly below the title of an article generates a compilation of articles in this category. Publications that are available as pdf documents can be downloaded from the SUBSPORT archive. To ensure that the document is up to date, please use the links to the original websites.
23rd January 2013
Minamata Convention Agreed by Nations
The Minamata Convention on Mercury-named after a city in Japan where serious health damage occurred as a result of mercury pollution in the mid-20th Century-provides controls and reductions across a range of products, processes and industries where mercury is used, released or emitted. On 19 January 2013 Governments have agreed on a range of mercury containing products whose production, export and import will be banned by 2020. These include:
Batteries, except for ‘button cell’ batteries used in implantable medical devices
Switches and relays
Certain types of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
Mercury in cold cathode fluorescent lamps and external electrode fluorescent lamps
Soaps and cosmetics
Certain kinds of non-electronic medical devices such as thermometers and blood pressure devices are also included for phase-out by 2020.
Go to: www.unep.org/hazardoussubstances
7th January 2013
Material Recycling without Hazardous Substances – interview study
One of the main barriers to increase the use of recycled materials in new products is the risk that the material may contain hazardous substances. The Swedish Chemicals Agency interviewed ten manufacturers of consumer products about their experiences and future outlook. The aim of this report is to support continuing processes and discussions, primarily within the EU and internationally, to stimulate and promote non-toxic and resource-efficient recycling.
Go to the report: www.kemi.se
20th December 2012
200 case stories published in the growing SUBSPORT database
The SUBSPORT case story database presents practical examples of substitution, and many of the case stories are provided directly by companies carrying out substitution efforts. In December, the number of case stories published in the database exceeded 200. They can serve as inspiration and offer concrete help to companies or organisations searching for substitutes to hazardous chemicals. You can contact the SUBSPORT team to share your substitution experience in the growing case story database and promote your green and innovative image.
Go to: SUBSPORT case story database
19th December 2012
Candidate List for authorisation updated with fifty-four new substances of very high concern (SVHCs)
The European Chemical Agency ECHA added fifty-four Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) to the REACH candidate list. The Candidate List now contains 138 substances and the target set by Vice-President Tajani and Commissioner Potočnik to have 136 SVHCs on the Candidate List by the end of 2012 has been reached. As foreseen by REACH, a specific procedure will be followed to decide whether the substances should also be included in the List of substances subject to authorisation (Annex XIV of the REACH Regulation).
Go to: www.echa.europa.eu
13th December 2012
Chemical Exposures of Women Workers in the Plastics Industry in Relation to Breast Cancer Risk
Women employed in the plastics industry are exposed to a multitude of toxic chemicals used in plastics production. These include styrene, acrylonitrile, vinyl chloride, phthalates, bisphenol-A (BPA), brominated flame retardants, heavy
metals, a host of solvents, and complex chemical mixtures. This study presents strong evidence that women employed in the plastics industry are exposed to workplace chemicals that can increase their risk of breast cancer and reproductive abnormalities.
Go to: nnewh.org or to the report
4th December 2012
BizNGO – New “Guide to Safer Chemicals”
The Guide to Safer Chemicals was released on 3 December 2012. BizNGO is a collaboration of leaders from businesses, environmental organizations, government agencies, and universities. Their mission is to promote the creation and adoption of safer chemicals and sustainable materials. The BizNGO Guide to Safer Chemicals—is a unique resource for downstream users of chemicals. It is a hands-on-guide that charts pathways to safer chemicals in products and supply chains for brand name companies, product manufacturers, architects and designers, retailers, and health care organisations. SUBSPORT is mentioned in the guide as a publicly available source of alternatives. The guide also refers to a SUBSPORT case story on substitution of broiminated flame retardants (HP).
Go to www.bizngo.org or to the report
30th November 2012
Electronic companies once again rated by Greenpeace – now including SUBSPORT case stories
Greenpeace has published the 18th edition of their Guide to Greener Electronics, evaluating leading consumer electronics companies based on their environmental commitment and progress.
In this edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics, Greenpeace has included the sharing of substitution case stories in the SUBSPORT case story database as a way of gaining points.
“Top marks are only given to those companies who also publicly advocate for the use of alternatives to hazardous substances, for example, by providing case studies on the process of substituting these substances (…) with safer alternatives,” states Greenpeace.
So far HP and Dell are the companies who have gained points for submitting their case stories to SUBSPORT. HP describes how they have evaluated, and now use, alternatives to brominated flame retardants. Dell describes elimination of mercury in displays.
“Information on available and functioning alternatives is often identified as one of the main barriers to the phase-out of hazardous substances. Therefore, sharing such knowledge among companies is crucial. These two companies have put effort into describing their substitution work for the benefit of others, and I am pleased to see that they have now also been ‘rewarded’ for this in the Greenpeace ranking”, comments Anna Lennquist, ChemSec toxicologist.
The Greenpeace guide scores companies on overall policies and practices, not on specific products, and is intended to provide consumers with a snapshot of the sustainability of the biggest names in the electronics industry.
Go to the Guide to Greener Electronics and to the Ranking Criteria
If you would like to share your experiences in substituting hazardous substances with safer alternatives, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the entry form
The Danish Consumer Council and the Danish Ecological Council in cooperation with DTU Environment launches Nanodatabase in English
Nanomaterials are used in ordinary consumer products such as cosmetics, clothes and dietary supplements, but no one has a clear overview of where the nanomaterials are used or in which quantities. The Danish Consumer Council and the Danish Ecological Council has in cooperation with DTU Environment developed a database, which help consumers identify more than 1,200 products that may contain nanomaterials. The Nanodatabase gives consumers a choice.
Go to: http://nano.taenk.dk/
28th November 2012
Norwegian study links phthalate metabolites to childhood asthma
High-molecular weight phthalates in indoor dust have been associated with asthma in children, but few studies have evaluated phthalate biomarkers in association with respiratory outcomes. Norwegian scientist could associate current asthma in children with urinary concentrations of breakdown products of common phthalates, following a study of over 600 ten-year old Norwegian children. But the authors remain caution to the result of this study due to the cross-sectional design and the short half-life of the phthalate metabolites.
Go to: ehp.niehs.nih.gov
27th November 2012
Updated Guidance on the Application of the CLP Criteria
The European Chemicals Agency has published on its website an update of the Guidance on the Application of the CLP Criteria related to health hazards following the conclusion of a consultation process.
The updated guidance provides:
- Guidance on the setting of lower and higher specific concentration limits (SCLs) for the following four health hazard classes: skin corrosion/irritation, serious eye damage/eye irritation, reproductive toxicity and specific target organ toxicity – single exposure (STOT-SE).
- Relevant background information on setting SCLs for the reproductive toxicity hazard class based on potency considerations included in the new Annex “Annex VI
Go to: http://echa.europa.eu