Wednesday, 13 Mar 2019 13:06 GMT

BCF calls for delay on new regulations

The British Coatings Federation (BCF) calls for reconsideration of the “potentially crippling” impact of new Poison Centre regulations on the coatings and inks sector.

Poison Centres are a help point for medical professionals to find out information about the chemical makeup of products, and an EU-wide database is being planned to store this information for emergency health response.

The new regulation means that member states will need to adapt their poison notification systems to be able to receive the information in the new proposed format.

The new Poison Centre notification system, under EU Commission Regulation, is to take effect by January 1st, 2020 for consumer uses, January 1st, 2021 for professional uses, and January 1st, 2024 for industrial uses.

A three-hundred-fold increase in the number of notifications to Poison Centres is predicted for the paints, coatings, and ink sector – 44.5m notifications – with an estimated bill of €9bn for the sector across the EU, which the BCF fear could bankrupt the industry.

The federation has written to the UK’s Health and Safety Executive highlighting major concerns for the coatings and printing ink industries.

We hope that common sense will prevail, and the new legislation delayed until more practical solutions are found

Commenting, chief executive officer of BCF, Tom Bowtell says: “The recent workability study, commissioned by the EU itself, has shown the hugely disproportionate, and crippling cost of implementing the new Poison Centre regulation, set to come into force on January 1st next year.

“The key issue here is the requirement for every paint or formula to have a unique identifier. This is quite ridiculous, given the similar chemical makeup of the majority of formulas in each product range. This needs sorting out, and the regulation must be delayed until pragmatic solutions are agreed.”

Wayne Smith, BCF’s director of regulatory affairs adds: “We are of course in favour of having clear information available for doctors to be able to treat patients who may have accidentally swallowed one of our member’s products, but there has to be a simpler and more cost-effective way.”

“We hope that common sense will prevail, and the new legislation delayed until more practical solutions are found,” concludes Bowtell.

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