ECHA’s Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) have recently published their final ‘combined’ opinion on the industrial use of 1,2-Dichloroethane (EDC) as a sulphonation swelling agent of polystyrene-divinylbenzene copolymer beads in the production of strong acid cation exchange resins.

The use was applied for in a joint application for authorisation submitted in February 2016 by Dow Italia S.R.L and Dow France SAS, who also operated within the wider EDC Authorisation Consortium (EDCAC).

RPA and their authorisation associates, FoBiG, were responsible for the development of the EDCAC application dossiers and collaborated with Dow Italia S.R.L and Dow France SAS throughout all stages of the process.

In the opinion, the RAC concluded that the risk management measures and operating conditions described in the application were “appropriate and effective in limiting the risks to workers and the general population” and SEAC concluded that they “consider the applicant’s conclusion that the benefits outweigh the risks of continued use to be robust”.

The RAC did not provide advice on the proposed length of the review period to SEAC, which concluded that 12 years was appropriate based on the information submitted by the applicant and the committees’ pre-established criteria. 

Mieke Diebold, EHS Product Steward Manager at Dow Chemical Company, noted that “Dow is very pleased with the outcome of the ECHA opinion” and highlighted that “the cooperation and communication with both RPA and FoBiG was professional, efficient and all time corridors were met”.

Further discussing the parties’ collaborative efforts, Ms Diebold noted that “both RPA and FoBiG are committed to get the job well done. They have the required background knowledge and are always ready to assist, both during the dossier creation and the communications with ECHA after the submission. Throughout the process, RPA and FoBiG were reliable and experienced partners. I can highly recommend them!

The combined opinion will now be sent to the European Commission who will take the final decision on the application.  A summary of the decision will be published in the Official Journal of the EU.

This favourable opinion and long review period recommendation is one of several that RPA and FoBiG have helped EDCAC members to attain, as well as multiple previous applicants for authorisation. 

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The full list of RAC and SEAC adopted opinions on applications for authorisation is available here.