ECHA to conduct a preliminary study and hold a webinar on the use of five cobalt salts

The European Commission has asked the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to carry out an initial investigation of the risks related to the use of five cobalt salts: cobalt sulphate, cobalt dichloride, cobalt dinitrate, cobalt carbonate and cobalt diacetate. Based on the study, the Commission can conclude whether it will request ECHA to prepare a dossier to restrict the use of these salts if there are indications of a risk to human health, which is not adequately controlled. The Commission made this request after it opted to postpone the decision on the inclusion of these substances in the Authorisation List (Annex XIV) until a restriction process has been concluded. The purpose of the preliminary study is to identify the sectors of activity in which there is a potential for workers to be exposed to these cobalt salts during their use. The investigation will focus on the following uses: in surface treatment; as a pigment in PET plastic; as a catalyst for the production of PTA, IPA and DMT; as catalysts in oxygen-scavenging processes; in animal feed and fertilisers; in biogas production; in culture media in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and in vitro diagnostics; and, in humidity indicator cards. The primary source of information for this inquiry will be the registration dossiers for the substances, and ECHA has already started to review the latest updates of these dossiers to assess the specific conditions of use in each sector. Companies and associations for the various industrial sectors concerned have also been contacted to provide supplementary information where available and useful. ECHA will organise a webinar on 20 March to explain the restriction procedure relating to the five cobalt salts and how the current preliminary study contributes to it. The webinar will explain the type of data sought for this initial inquiry. Although the webinar is directed towards cobalt salts, manufacturers and their downstream users, participation is open to any third parties interested in the event. Additional Information is available on the webinar section of the ECHA website. Further information is available at: Webinar section

ECHA, 7 March 2013 ; ;