Biodegradability exemptions for surfactants

A consultation paper setting out proposals to amend the 2005 detergents regulations was issued by the Pesticides Safety Directorate on 30 November.1 The regulations set out measures to enforce the EU detergents Regulation that imposes a two-tier testing regime for sufactant biodegradability. Both pieces of legislation came into force on 8 October (ENDS Report 369, p 36 ). Manufacturers of surfactants used in some industrial detergents can apply for an exemption to the biodegradability standards if no viable alternatives exist. If manufacturers wish to keep their surfactant on the market while their exemption application is being assessed, they must apply by 8 October 2007.

The consultation paper sets out the proposed procedures for handling the first stage of exemption applications. Application fees would range from £2,500 to £4,000.

The paper also asks whether a duty should be placed on manufacturers to submit medical datasheets to the National Poisons Information Service in addition to the existing requirement for them to submit ingredient data sheets to medical personnel.

The consultation runs until 22 February. After responses have been analysed, the regulations will be revoked and remade to include the provisions related to exemption applications.

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