Cancer-causing PAHs in clay targets need an EU-wide ban

2022-09-22

ECHA’s Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) supports the proposal to restrict polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in clay targets for shooting. The restriction aims to prevent further environmental emissions of these toxic and very persistent substances that build up in humans and animals. Many PAHs are also known to cause cancer.

Helsinki, 20 September 2022 – RAC has adopted its opinion on ECHA’s proposal to restrict the placing on the market and use of substances containing PAHs in clay targets for shooting. The proposed restriction introduces a 0.005 % weight by weight concentration limit for the sum of 18 indicator PAHs after a one-year transition with a 1 % concentration limit. PAHs are contained in binders used to produce clay targets.

The committee considered that the restriction proposal is clear and well justified. Although the European Commission had previously refused an authorisation for one of the PAH-containing binders – coal tar pitch, high temperature (CTPHT) – environmental pollution could still continue from imported products and clay targets manufactured with other binders containing PAHs, such as petroleum pitch. This supports the need for further risk management.

“At least 270 tonnes of PAHs per year are estimated to be released to the environment from PAH-containing clay targets. And these are shattered by the gunshot into the open environment with little possibility of applying risk management measures. The proposed restriction will reduce the identified risks by 99 % in a reasonable timeframe,” says Tim Bowmer, Chair of the RAC, in a new episode of the Safer Chemicals podcast.

In addition to the environmental risks, RAC considers that a restriction is justified as it will reduce exposure and related cancer risk for workers and the public handling and shooting clay targets.

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ECHA, 22-09-22
; https://echa.europa.eu/-/cancer-causing-pahs-in-clay-targets-need-an-eu-wide-ban