CLP: One regulation to rule them all



You’ve probably seen or heard the term “CLP” before, but may not know exactly what it is. CLP is an EU chemical regulation, short for Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures, with an important, albeit somewhat hidden role in the EU policy discussions. But CLP’s time trapped is the shadows is about to end. The regulation is going to be revised into a more omnipotent framework – and you can help forge it.

A key aspect of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability is the principle “one substance – one assessment”. The idea going forward is that the discussions and decisions on hazardous properties of substances – currently being held and made in different fora depending on whether the substance falls under REACH, food packaging, pesticides, biocides, or another category – are all going to take place under the umbrella of CLP. Once a substance is classified under CLP, regulatory action will be triggered automatically.

Key improvement: Additional hazard classes and criteria

An important part of the CLP revision is that new hazard classes, with their own criteria, will be included in the regulation. Currently, there are only classification criteria for carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and toxicity to reproduction, along with aquatic toxicity, skin and respiratory sensitization, and a few other hazard classes.

Companies are obliged to test their chemicals for these hazardous properties and provide the information on packages and labels. One way to do this is through so called pictograms – symbols of dead trees or fish, sculls, exclamation marks, and other images meant to illustrate the hazard.

Hazardous properties that trigger regulation, but are not yet identified under CLP, include Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs), Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic / very Persistent and very Bioaccumulative (PBT/vPvB), and Persistent, Mobile and Toxic / very Persistent and very Mobile (PMT/vPvM).

The European Commission and related committees are currently working to establish legal criteria for identifying such properties. We at ChemSec are active in those discussions, having experience from identifying these hazardous properties for our SIN List.

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Chemsec, 4 November 2021