For the First Time, EU Rejects an Authorization Request for Use of a Substance of Very High Concern

As part of a meeting of the REACH committee in mid-February, the member states of the EU have rejected the application of a company (a specialist in surface technology) that wanted to use sodium dichromate for special handling of surfaces. The products involved are instruments for microsurgery.

Sodium dichromate is a known carcinogen and one of 197 substances of very high concern (SVHC) on the REACH Candidate List. The company submitted the required application in mid-March 2016. In June 2018, two ECHA committees responsible for inspection (RAC and SEAC) requested additional information that the requestor was unable to supply within the time permitted.

Finally, in March 2018, the EU committees announced their decision not to approve the application. They based the decision on the inability of the company to comply with its obligation to provide information, as noted in REACH, Article 62 (4) (Point D). The company failed to supply a substance safety report that covered the risks of this special use of hexavalent chromium to human health and the environment. The RAC committee saw itself unable to assess the risks of the substance adequately, as required by REACH, Article 64(4), Point A.

The EU approved other authorization requests for chromium trioxide that is needed in the automobile and aerospace industries for chromium plating of plastic parts and to treat surfaces.

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