Press Release: October 2013

Nalco, an Ecolab company (ECL), today implemented a price increase for all Water and Process Services industry segments. Pricing for most Nalco Water and Process Services programs will increase globally between five and 15 percent, varying by country and product. This price increase is effective immediately or as existing contracts allow.

The price adjustments are driven by the significant increase in key raw materials costs, combined with other global inflationary factors, such as rising energy and transportation costs. Nalco sales engineers are contacting customers directly to discuss these price increases.

"We continue to take actions to minimize the impact to our customers of increasing raw material and service costs, however, it is necessary to appropriately increase prices to help offset these ongoing cost increases," said Timothy Mulhere, executive vice president and president, Nalco Water and Process Services.

Nalco is an Ecolab company. A trusted partner at more than one million customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With 2012 sales of $12 billion and 44,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world.


 European Plastics News: October 2013

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has released new guidance on complying with the EU's biocidal products regulation, which came into force on 1 September.

The advice tells companies how and when to request an assessment of a biocidal chemical that they think could be the technical equivalent of another active substance previously approved for use across the EU. Under the regulation, ECHA will carry out these checks, which were undertaken by national regulators under the outgoing 1998 biocidal products directive.

This advice follows the release of two other guidance documents from ECHA on what information must be provided by companies seeking EU approval for their biocides. An ECHA note stressed that information required under the new regulation is different from that which was required under the previous directive.


 Chemical Watch: October 2013

The new Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR), which was adopted on 22 May 2012, will come into operation in Europe from 1 September, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA; Helsinki) says. BPR is aimed at increasing the safety of biocides on the European market and simplifying the procedures for authorization, according to the European Commission. Biocides are chemicals that are used to control harmful organisms, such as molds and bacteria. They include insect repellents, disinfectants, and antifouling paint for ships.

The regulation allows European member states to apply for authorization in a single EU member state, in several states, or for an EU-wide authorization, ECHA says. Industry can apply for approval of an active substance and for authorization of a biocidal product containing an approved active substance through ECHA. The process of authorization has also been simplified for certain types of biocidal products, according to ECHA.

"The regulation is another step towards ensuring that only safe, authorized products are made available throughout the European Union," says Janez Potočnik, European environment commissioner. "The simplification of authorization procedures will bring significant economic benefits to companies while ensuring a high level of environmental protection for citizens," he says.

"ECHA has been working over the last year to get the essential elements in place to allow this important new regulation to enter into operation," says Geert Dancet, executive director at ECHA. "We have been very mindful of the many small and medium-size enterprises in Europe that will need to comply with this new law," he says.

The BPR provides the possibility of requesting an EU-wide authorization for biocides, allowing industry to place such products on the entire EU market. This simplified procedure for authorization will lead to an estimated cost saving of €2.7 billion ($3.6 billion) over 10 years, according to the commission.

One aim of the BPR is to avoid unnecessary testing on animals, ECHA says. Companies should submit an inquiry to ECHA to determine whether the same test or study has been conducted under EU biocides legislation. Companies are required to share such data, says ECHA. Costs of the assessment of active substances to be are equally shared by applicants, the agency says. Companies that place a given active substance on the market but that were not involved in the review program or in the original application for approval of that substance will also have to contribute to the cost, says ECHA. The agency will maintain a list of companies that have contributed to the cost of assessment. Only biocidal products that contain active substances from suppliers on that list will be legally entitled to remain on the market from 1 September 2015, ECHA says.

A completely new version of the Register of Biocidal Products will also be available, ECHA says. The register, currently used for submitting applications and recording decisions, will now also be used for providing information to the public, the commission says. The new version will be the central point through which biocides applications will be made, enabling industry and the authorities to comply with legislative requirements and to exchange information between them, according to ECHA.

The BPR is also the first piece of legislation to incorporate the new commission definition on nanomaterials, the commission says.


 EU News: September 2013

The objective of the new Regulation is to improve the functioning of the internal market in biocidal products whilst ensuring a high level of environmental and human health protection. The new Regulation will also remedy a number of weaknesses that were identified during the 11 years of implementation of the current Directive 98/8/EC.

The new text simplifies and streamlines the requirements for approving active substances and authorizing products. The new provisions will also reduce animal testing by making data sharing compulsory and encouraging a more flexible and intelligent approach to testing. A dedicated IT platform (the Register for Biocidal Products) will be used for submitting applications as well as recording decisions and disseminating information to the public. The new Regulation is also the first piece of legislation to build in the new Commission definition on nanomaterials. 

The text is also a major breakthrough for the internal market with the creation of a Union authorisation of biocidal products, which will allow industry to directly place their products on the entire Union market.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will provide a strong scientific and technical back-up to the Commission and the Member States under this new Regulation. 100 persons will eventually work on biocides related activities for a total annual budget of 25 Million EUR. ECHA will in particular be responsible for the assessment of applications for the Union authorisation of biocidal products. The total number of opinions to be delivered by ECHA is expected to grow from 80 in 2014 to 300 in 2020.

The total cost savings for the industry – to be achieved through the measures concerning product authorisation, data sharing and data requirements – are significant and estimated to ca. €2.7 billion over a period of 10 years.


 BASQUE Research: September 2013

Tecnalia and Aenor are collaborating in the project LIFE BIOREG "Field and laboratory methods for the environmental evaluation of biocides within the European regulatory framework", which main objective is to improve the quality and strength of biocidal risk assessment. The project aims to develop new methodologies that will provide precise and robust data for conducting risk assessment of biocidal products, as well as more information on the influence on risk of different environmental parameters.

The impact of biocidal products on the environment is significant and this has led to increased regulation in recent years. The European regulatory framework for biocides is established in the new Biocidal Product Regulation, which came into force on the 1st September 2013.

This European legislation establishes the need to carry out risk assessments for biocidal products and specifies data requirements to perform them. A crucial measurement is the risk coefficient, as calculated by the PEC/PNEC ratio. A biocidal product is considered to be environmentally acceptable if the Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC) is higher than the Predicted Environmental Concentration (PEC).

The project BIOREG specifically aims to establish a scientifically validated methodology for the risk assessment of film preservatives and masonry preservatives.

The Urban Environmental Health Laboratory of Tecnalia will optimize laboratory and semi-field experimental methods to determine the leaching rate of active ingredients. It will then assess the ecotoxicity of the leachates obtained in the laboratory and semi-field studies and correlate the results with the ecotoxicological data obtained from pure formulated products.

Aenor, the Spanish association for standardization, will explore the possibility of defining standardized procedures at European level for determining leaching, with the purpose of increasing the impact of the project results on the market.

The BIOREG project expects to determine the main factors affecting the results and performance of leaching tests and the most important parameters for environmental risk assessment. This innovative project receives funding from the European Commission within the LIFE+ Environmental Policy & Governance 2012.