This website uses non-intrusive cookies to improve your user experience. You can visit our cookie privacy page for more information.

Social media

Javascript is required to use HSE website social media functionality.

REACH news

Current REACH consultations

Visit the ECHA website for further details.

Do you import fireworks directly into the UK from outside the EU/EEA?

If you import fireworks into the UK from outside the EU/EEA, you should read this leaflet regarding the requirements the REACH Regulation places on importers. This leaflet has been prepared by the UK REACH Compliance Team, to assist firework importers to understand and comply with their duties under REACH.

Dichloromethane (DCM) Restriction

A new ban on some supply and use of paint strippers containing the hazardous substance ‘dichloromethane’ (DCM, and also known as methylene chloride) is coming into force.  For the purposes of this ban, the term 'paint stripper' is taken to mean DCM (or mixtures containing it) intended for stripping paint, varnish or lacquer.

Pure DCM (or mixtures containing it) sold and used for other purposes (e.g. degreasing) aren’t banned and can continue to be sold and used (although not for stripping paint).

The new ban makes a distinction between three types of use:

Industrial use

Use of DCM-based paint strippers can continue in industrial installations so long as certain safe working practices are followed. Supply for these uses is also permitted. The required conditions for continued industrial use are listed in paragraph 4 of the restriction text:

(a) effective ventilation in all processing areas, in particular for the wet processing and the drying of stripped articles: local exhaust ventilation at strip tanks supplemented by forced ventilation in those areas, so as to minimise exposure and to ensure compliance, where technically feasible, with relevant occupational exposure limits;

(b) measures to minimise evaporation from strip tanks comprising: lids for covering strip tanks except during loading and unloading; suitable loading and unloading arrangements for strip tanks; and wash tanks with water or brine to remove excess solvent after unloading;

(c) measures for the safe handling of dichloromethane in strip tanks comprising: pumps and pipework for transferring paint stripper to and from strip tanks; and suitable arrangements for safe cleaning of tanks and removal of sludge;

(d) personal protective equipment that complies with Directive 89/686/EEC comprising: suitable protective gloves, safety goggles and protective clothing; and appropriate respiratory protective equipment where compliance with relevant occupational exposure limits cannot be otherwise achieved;

(e) adequate information, instruction and training for operators in the use of such equipment.

Paint strippers supplied for industrial use must be labelled in accordance with either the CHIP Regulations or CLP, and must also be 'visibly, legibly and indelibly marked' with the text 'Restricted to industrial use and to professionals approved in certain EU Member States — verify where use is allowed.' Suppliers will wish to satisfy themselves that mixtures are being supplied for legal uses, in order to explain such a due diligence approach if challenged.

Professional (mobile) use

The ban first took effect on 6 December 2010.  Since then formulators of DCM-based paint strippers have not been allowed to put their products into the supply chain for use outside industrial installations. Suppliers could however continue to sell existing stocks to professionals or the public for a further year, until 6 December 2011. On the 6 June 2012 all use of DCM-based paint strippers by professionals outside industrial installations will have to cease.

DCM-based paint strippers are particularly effective at removing very durable coatings – including leaded paint – quickly and without damaging the substrate.  Along with normal paint stripping, DCM-based strippers are widely used the heritage, aerospace and maritime sectors, and for graffiti removal. HSE will consult in the next few months on taking up the derogation to allow continued professional use.  In order to do so, both the government and stakeholders would need to make certain arrangements.  Although we don’t expect to be able to take up the derogation in time for the 6 June 2012 deadline, subject to consultation these measures may be made available later.

E-Team - A new project to evaluate REACH Tier 1 exposure assessment models

The Institute of Occupational Medicine is evaluating the different Tier 1 exposure assessment models under REACH: the ECETOC TRA, MEASE, EMKG-Expo-Tool and Stoffenmanager.

The 18-month project, which is sponsored by the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), will investigate the conceptual bases of the models, evaluate their user-friendliness and reliability, and then compare model predictions of inhalation and dermal exposure with real workplace exposure data. The study will provide guidance for model users, industry and regulators on the range of applicability of models across different exposure situations.

If you would like further information, or are interested in participating in the study, please visit the project website www.eteam-project.eu

Updated 2014-08-02