France Seeks Reclassification of BPA Under REACH

10.09.2013 -

France is seeking to amend the harmonized classification and labelling (CLH) of bisphenol A (BPA) under REACH to reflect its own planned stricter standards for the controversial chemical used to produce polycarbonates and epoxy resins.

In a request filed with the REACH administrative body, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the French agency for food, environmental and occupational health and safety, ANSES, said the classification should be revised on the basis of recent studies, including one of its own dating from 2011.

The French proposal applies only to reproductive toxicity, which means the possible adverse effects of the chemical on sexual function and fertility. It would move the substance from reproductive toxicity category 2 (suspected of damaging fertility) to category 1B (may damage fertility).

ECHA's 45-day public consultation on amending the classification and labelling of BPA ends October 11, after which the agency's Risk Assessment Committee will prepare a scientific opinion, taking account of comments received. A decision could be expected within 18 months.

France's own legislation banning on BPA in all food contact packaging from 2015, already approved in differing versions by both houses of parliament is still in limbo, pending completion of a report on the health and environmental hazards of endocrine disruptors due next year.