From: Monona Rossol <0000030664c37427-dmarc-request**At_Symbol_Here**LISTS.PRINCETON.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines (18 articles)
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2018 16:56:18 -0400
Reply-To: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**PRINCETON.EDU>
Message-ID: 164af2de7ff-c8e-1e34b**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <25F57C90-F92E-404E-92DD-1224D271C442**At_Symbol_Here**>

Actually, Ralph, I think you are wrong.  This was also in the Guardian. And all the articles referred to an existing EC standard for boron in consumer and children's products. That's not sensationalizing, that's fact.  I think you might want to consider that we may be about to get our chains jerked again by the E.U., this time for our lack of good standards for consumer products.  

In case you think they can't do this, remember that the E.U. already forced the U.S. and Canada to change their occupational safety regulations to incorporate GHS (something that our system would have required 20 years and twice that number of court battles to do).  

The clue that the E.U. may be making another move was in the CHAS-L headlines this week where one article began with the following paragraph:

"The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), Europe's leading chemical industry association, has made a U-turn in its view of REACH, Europe's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & Restriction of Chemicals legislation.   After years of kicking and screaming to resist REACH-the biggest and most expensive body of chemicals regulation ever introduced-Cefic has emerged as its biggest advocate."

If CEFIC and REACH work together, there's not much they can't do.  For example, many our chemical manufacturers are now past REACH's deadline for doing the 10 SDS tests on about 20,000+ high production volume (HPV) chemicals.  Manufacturers who sell products in the E.U. were required to do this testing starting in 2008 with a deadline in 2018 (June, I think) and a recent article indicated that those chemicals are still not studied.  Theoretically, the E.U. can refuse to accept any of our exports that contain these untested HPVs.  

The Obama administration was addressing this potential problem by lobbying at the TTIP treaty negotiations to try to force the E.U. to accept our products containing untested chemicals, but the negotiations fell apart when Trump was elected.  And after annoying the E.U. last week, Trump says he's will willing to start negotiating again.  But while the U.S. has been away from the table, the E.U. has been busy with more new and better rules. 

Perhaps this article about boron and others like it may not be the ravings of a sensationalizing press, but part of a long-overdue rethinking of exposure to chemicals that is behind the E.U. regulations.  So before we knee jerk respond that 20 Mule Team Borax MUST be safe because Mom used it, how about reading over Health Canada's and the E.U.s rationale for their boron limits.  Just maybe there's something there worth thinking on.  And maybe those are the limits that our exporters will be meeting soon.

So I'll dream a nice dream, one in which CEFIC links arms with REACH and supports the enforcement of REACH rules restricting our jewelry exports to those that meet their Nickel Directive, our textiles to those that meet their Dye Directive, our Cosmetics --- and so on. 

Monona Rossol, M.S., M.F.A., Industrial Hygienist
President:  Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc.
Safety Officer: Local USA829, IATSE
181 Thompson St., #23
New York, NY 10012     212-777-0062


-----Original Message-----
From: Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**KEENE.EDU>
Sent: Wed, Jul 18, 2018 2:12 pm
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Chemical Safety headlines (18 articles)

> >Even when applying an abundance of caution, I cannot imagine that it is right for the BBC to set off a panic amongst uninformed parents about the slime their kids have already handled, unless the claims of toxicity have been established for both the slime precursor AND the slime itself.

The BBC is not the source of this concern; the British tabloid press has been raising this alarm, in a less balanced way for about a year.

> >The responsible thing to do is to consult a chemist before making too wild claims in the press.
I'm not sure that consulting a chemist is the appropriate approach for the average member of the public; I believe that this is a medical question rather than a chemical one. I'm not sure that the press understands the difference, though; sometimes it seems that they think anyone with a lab coat can answer a health question...

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
603 358-2859


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