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ECHA refuses to classify DAT as skin irritant
Jul '09
The Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) last Friday agreed not to support a proposal for EU-wide harmonized classification and labeling of diantimony trioxide (DAT) as a skin irritant. The Agency will now submit this opinion to the European Commission for their decision.

The Swedish authorities submitted a proposal to the Agency that DAT should be classified as a skin irritant across the EU. Following a public consultation, the proposal has been considered by RAC and its scientific opinion is that the data available are insufficient to justify this proposal. The opinion was adopted by consensus.

A classification of 'irritating to skin' was not supported by RAC because special conditions, namely, substantial heat and sweat, were required in addition to chemical exposure, in all the cases where skin effects had been described in workplace observations. Furthermore, it was unclear whether DAT was the only chemical substance to which these workers had been exposed.

Nevertheless, RAC recommended that due consideration be made by the relevant authorities and/or industry to adequately control the risks of any adverse effects to workers who are exposed in hot, sweaty conditions to fumes or dust containing DAT.

DAT remains classified as a carcinogen (category 3)1 and suppliers need to continue to classify and label DAT accordingly. For non-harmonised hazard classes, manufacturers, importers and downstream users need to evaluate available information and classify accordingly.

DAT is usually placed on the market as a white crystalline powder. The main uses of DAT are as a flame-retardant, a catalyst in PET production, in pigments, paint and ceramics and as an additive in the manufacture of glass.

In line with the REACH Regulation, the scientific opinion of RAC and supporting evidence including the comments received during the public consultation will be sent to the European Commission to take a decision.

European Chemicals Agency

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