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ECHA is currently consulting on four applications for authorization, two testing proposals, and has two open calls for comments and evidence. The substances at issue are: sodium dichromate, chromium trioxide, nickel and its compounds, polycyclic organic hydrocarbons, and the substance with EC Number 941-357-0. The deadlines for comments range from 27 March 2017 to 19 April 2017.
Applications for Authorization: Of the four applications for Authorization, two are submitted for sodium dichromate (CAS RN:s 7789-12-0 and 10588-019) for use in "molten bath form to modify surfaces..." and for use "as mordant in wool dyeing." The other two applications for Authorization are for chromium trioxide (CAS RN 1333-82-0) for use in "electroplating of different types of substrates..." and for use in a "pre-treatment step (etching) in the electroplating process." Comments on these applications are due by 5 April 2017.
Calls for Comments: Two calls for comments are currently open with the deadline of 19 April 2017 for comments. One is for nickel and its compounds (CAS RN 7440-02-0); comments are requested on the "the proposed guideline on articles intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin in relation to the restriction entry 27 of Annex XVII to REACH." The second call for comments is on "the proposed guideline on articles falling within the scope of restriction entry 50 of Annex XVII to REACH: Polycyclic organic hydrocarbons in articles supplied to the general public;" the affected CAS RNs are: 50-32-8, 192-97-2, 56-55-3, 218-01-9, 205-99-2, 205-82-3, 207-08-9, and 53-70-3.
Current Testing Proposals: The current testing proposals have a comment deadline of 27 March 2017 and apply to the substance with EC Number 941-357-0; no CAS RN is available. The substance details can be viewed here.
The calls for comments present an opportunity for interested parties to express their views and concerns regarding the proposed guidelines.
The Authorization applications would allow the named substances to be used for the purposes identified, for a limited time.
Testing proposals take place under Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH) which requires ECHA to obtain information on the toxic effects of substances from manufacturers and importers. ECHA then assesses the hazards of those substances in order to ensure that the risks are documented and controlled during manufacture, use and disposal. After a testing proposal has been published, interested parties have 45 days to submit "scientifically valid information and studies that address the relevant substance and hazard endpoint, relating to the testing proposal" (REACH, Article 40 (2)). One of REACH’s objectives is to avoid animal testing in favor of alternative methods. As such, those wishing to perform tests using animals must indicate to ECHA the tests they propose, for which they must then obtain approval before carrying them out.