• Dichromates and Chromic Acid: REACH Update

Potassium Dichromate NewsThe situation in relation to the REACh Regulation as of April 2016

A summary from Hart Materials

There has been considerable concern in recent years about the implementation of the European Union REACh Regulation in respect of hexavalent chromium compounds, particularly chromic acid and dichromate salts. These compounds have been placed on Annex XIV of REACh, so their use within the EU will be illegal by the ‘Sunset Date’ of September 2017 unless they are correctly ‘Authorised’.

Chromic Acid (CrO3)

Fifteen organisations have applied for ‘Authorisation’ to supply or use chromic acid in a range of applications. Consultations between these organisations and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) are now closed and the dossiers submitted are under consideration. Decisions are expected, although not guaranteed by the end of 2016.

If ‘Authorisation’ is granted then the use of CrO3 in the processes specified in the various applications will be permitted. ‘Authorised’ material suppliers would also be able to sell chromic acid to downstream users (DUs) for those applications. DUs would, however, need to conform with ‘Authorisation’ operating requirements and inform national Health and Safety organisations that they were using the material.

Dichromate salts

Four organisations - suppliers of these chemicals, rather than downstream users - have applied for ‘Authorisation’ for the use of sodium or potassium dichromate in relevant applications. Consultations with ECHA, unlike those related to chromic acid, have not yet been closed. However, decisions are expected, although not guaranteed, by the end of 2016.

Where ‘Authorisation’ is granted, this would permit DUs to use the products in the specified applications provided that they purchase through a supply chain emanating from one of the ‘Authorised’ bodies. Users would, however, need to conform with ‘Authorisation’ operating requirements and inform national Health and Safety organisations of their use of these materials.

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