2009-04

ROHM & HAAS PATENT FOR ANTIMICROBIAL COATING

Patent No. U.S. 7,377,968 B2
Rohm and Haas has obtained a patent for a coating composition comprised of a microencapsulated biocide of an isothiazolone biocide or antifouling agent as a core material encapsulated in a wall material that is essentially impermeable to xylene and from which water can leach the biocide from the wall material. The concentration of free isothiazolone biocide or antifouling agent is from 0.25 percent, by weight of the composition, up to a concentration that does not reduce the glass transition temperature. The glass transition temperature is the temperature below which the physical properties of amorphous materials vary in a manner similar to those of a solid phase (glassy state), and above which amorphous materials behave like liquids (rubbery state).

EU TO BAN DIMETHYLFUMARATE (DMF) PRESERVATIVE

Speciality Chemicals: April 2009
EU nations to ban dimethylfumarate (DMF), an allergy-provoking chemical used to protect leather furniture or footwear from mould, the European Commission said. EU manufacturers are already banned from using the dangerous chemical but until now foreign companies have been allowed to use it in products exported to Europe.
The decision, which also calls for products already on the market containing DMF to be recalled, was taken as a matter of urgency after at least five EU countries reported consumers suffering allergies due to the chemical. Consumers in Britain, Finland, France, Poland and Sweden have suffered serious health problems ranging from itching, irritation, redness, burns and, in some cases, acute respiratory difficulty due to DMF.
The chemical is placed in sachets which are then put inside furniture and shoe boxes to kill mould that would otherwise hurt the products during transport and storage in humid climates. "There can be no compromise on safety," EU Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said in a statement.
"An EU-wide ban on the use of DMF in all consumer goods is designed to eliminate the serious health risks and in particular the severe allergic reactions suffered by some consumers when they are exposed," she added.

EU VOTES ON NEW COSMETICS DIRECTIVE

Cosmetics Design: April 2009
MEPs are voting today on the recast of the EU Cosmetics Directive following a last-minute agreement between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers on nanomaterials.
The new regulation will replace the EU Cosmetics Directive from 1976 which, according to the European Commission, had become a “patchwork” of 55 amendments without coherent terminology.
Aims of the legislative overhaul
By replacing 3,500 pages of legal text and 27 transposing pieces of national legislation with one regulation, the Commission hopes to ease the administrative burden of the law, remove national differences that do not contribute to product safety and rid the system of any uncertainties and inconsistencies.

UK HSE TO MERGE BIOCIDE REGULATORY BODY

Press Release: April 2009
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that the Pesticides Safety Directorate (PSD) and the Chemicals Assessment Schemes Unit (CASU) will merge to form the new Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) in April 2009.
Kerr Wilson, currently Chief Executive of PSD, becomes Director of CRD reporting directly to HSE’s Chief Executive Geoffrey Podger. Dr Wilson said: “Bringing together the delivery of HSE responsibilities for pesticides, biocides, detergents and industrial chemicals into one directorate has the potential to provide all stakeholders with a better regulatory service.”

EU EXTENDS TEST PERIOD FOR BIOCIDES

ENDS Europe: March 2009
Under a directive adopted in 1998 on the placing of biocidal products on the market (Directive 98/8/EC), a ten-year transition period was laid down, running until 14 May 2010, to allow "active substances" used in biocides such as disinfectants to be assessed and, if safe, placed on a centralised European Community positive list of approved substances. 
It now appears that ten years will not be enough, with the danger that the transition period during which the biocides market continues to be regulated by national rules will expire before the Community positive list is in place. This means that important products such as hospital disinfectants would have to be removed from the market as of 15 May 2010 unless steps are taken to allow national rules to continue to apply for the time being.
The Commission suggested prolonging the transition period by a further three years (to 2013) but Parliament's proposal for an extra year was accepted by Council so the deadline will now be 14 May 2014.
The transition period could be extended again through cosmetology but only for a further two years. Hospital disinfectants that might have been taken off the market in 2010 will be reprieved until 2014, to allow more time for their ingredients to be properly tested for safety. This is the result of an agreement between MEPs and the Council of Ministers which the full Parliament endorsed in Strasbourg with 652 votes in favour, 5 against and 17 abstentions.