On 18 September 2012, two new substance restrictions were published in the EU’s official journal, on cadmium and lead. The restrictions take the form of Regulations amending Annex XVII to Regulation No. 1907/2006 on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (“REACH Regulation”).

The Regulation on cadmium removes cross-linked polyethylene (VPE), highimpact polystyrene and polypropylene (PP) from the list of restricted uses of cadmium, and mandates that the Commission ask the European Chemicals Agency, by 19 November 2012, to prepare a dossier in order to assess whether the use of cadmium and its compounds in plastic material should be further restricted.  

The Regulation on lead provides that lead shall not be placed on the market or used in any individual part of articles of jewellery if the concentration of lead (expressed as metal) in such a part is equal to or greater than 0.05 % by weight. Certain derogations are contained in the Regulation.  

The full text of both Regulations can be accessed via the following links:

http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:252:0001:0003:EN:PDF

http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:252:0004:0006:EN:PDF