Moving towards safer alternatives


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.


10th Edition of World’s largest Sustainable Palm Oil Meeting

Events & Training | 15.11.2012

From 30 October to 1 November, the 10th Annual Roundtable Meeting on Sustainable Palm Oil (RT10), the world’s largest sustainable palm oil meeting was held in Singapore. The meeting, presented by international multi-stakeholder organisation the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), reflected the strong commitment from palm oil stakeholders worldwide towards Sustainable Palm Oil.

Presentations can be found at:

Plastic shoes analysed for harmful chemicals

Publications & Tools | 02.11.2012

The Swedish Chemicals Agency has analysed 30 pairs of soft plastic shoes to see if they contain harmful chemicals. Several shoes contained phthalates that are considered to be endocrine disruptors. The phthalates found were DIBP, DBP and DEHP. These phthalates are not prohibited in shoes, but they are banned in some other products, such as toys, childcare products and products intended to be put into the mouth.

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Risk assessment of endocrine active chemicals: Identifying chemicals of regulatory concern

Publications & Tools | 02.11.2012

The guidance proposed by ECETOC in  2011 provides a structured, science based framework to evaluate results from a variety of apical, mechanistic and screening toxicity studies. It integrates knowledge of adverse effects and mode of action from these studies to reach a conclusion regarding the endocrine disrupting properties of substances, in accordance with the International Programme on Chemicals Safety (IPCS ) and other related definitions. This paper proposes refinements mainly to the second part of the original ECETOC guidance, in order to discriminate between chemicals of low concern from those of higher concern (for regulatory purposes).

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Bisphenol A – EFSA met national experts from Member States

Events & Training | 01.11.2012

On 29-30 October 2012, experts from European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA’s)  Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF), other European scientific advisory bodies and the Member States met together with EFSA staff to exchange information about their previous or ongoing work related to the safety assessment of bisphenol A (BPA). The meeting is part of the scientific discussions contributing to the development of EFSA’s new assessment of human health risks associated with BPA, scheduled for completion in May 2013.

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Acrylamide levels in food largely unchanged states EFSA’s latest report

Publications & Tools | 01.11.2012

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its annual update report on acrylamide levels in food in 25 European countries. Acrylamide is a chemical compound that typically forms in starchy food products such as potato crisps, French fries, bread, biscuits and coffee, during high-temperature processing, including frying, baking and roasting. An EFSA statement in 2005 noted that there may be a potential health concern with acrylamide which is known to be both carcinogenic and genotoxic . The report covers the monitoring period 2007-2010 and does not reveal any considerable change from the last report for the majority of the food categories assessed. Since 2008 the number of results submitted to EFSA declined, limiting the reliability of the trend analysis.

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WECF France: Endocrine disruptors: Threat to women’s health

Publications & Tools | 18.10.2012

WECF has launched a report in French called Menace sur la santé des femmes. The report explains what hormone disruptors are and how these chemicals affect women’s reproductive systems – particularly at critical stages of development. It highlights key scientific research regarding contaminants linked to conditions including early puberty, infertility, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, breast cancer and others.

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Final report on Nanoscale Silver in Disinfectant Spray

Publications & Tools | 17.10.2012

This final report published by US EPA presents a case study of engineered nanoscale silver (nano-Ag), focusing on the specific example of nano-Ag as possibly used in disinfectant sprays. This case study is organised around the comprehensive environmental assessment (CEA) framework, which structures available information pertaining to the product life cycle, environmental transport and fate, exposure-dose in receptors (i.e., humans, ecological populations, and the environment), and potential impacts on these receptors. The report is intended to be used as part of a process to identify what is known and, more importantly, what is not yet known that could be of value in assessing the broad implications of certain nanomaterials.

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Launch of online tool for risk assessment in the leather and tanning industry

Publications & Tools | 16.10.2012

Leather and Tanning is a potentially high risk sector dealing with heavy machines and various chemicals. Wrong handling of machines and chemicals can cause severe damage to the human body. The tool is meant as a reference to give valuable information and suggestions to perform a risk assessment for the tannery in order to minimise and eliminate health and safety risks. The tool covers all major areas in a tannery, including OSH management, in-house transport, use of chemicals, working with raw hides and skins, etc. The software of the online tool has been provided by the European Agency on Health and Safety (EU-OSHA) in Bilbao.

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36 Phones Tested for Lead, Mercury, Hazardous Flame Retardants and More

Publications & Tools | 08.10.2012

To learn more about chemicals in phones on the market today, researchers took apart 36 phones and submitted their components to X-ray fluorescence spectrometry – a process that determines the chemical composition of a material. The researchers rated and ranked the phones on a scale of 0 – 5, lowest being best, in three ways: by chemical (for each of 12 commonly found hazardous chemicals, such as bromine, mercury, and lead), by component (case, screen, solder, circuit board, etc.), and overall. The sample represents the largest set of samples ever released for a type of electronic product. In total 1,106 samples were analyzed for 35 different chemicals and elements.

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ECHA invited SUBSPORT to contribute to a workshop on analysing alternatives

Events & Training | 05.10.2012

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) organised a workshop on analysing alternatives and socio-economic impacts in applications for authorisation, which was held on 2-3 Oct 2012 in Helsinki with 30 participants from industry. Dr. Lothar Lissner from SUBSPORT made a presentation on the ‘economic feasibility in alternative assessment methodologies’.

More information on the workshop and the presentations can be found at The audio recordings of the event will be available in November.

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