Belgian Politico writes about Savroc’s TripleHard technology as an alternative to chromium trioxide.

 

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By ELINE SCHAART

With Louise Guillot and Giorgio Leali

TODAY’S TOP LINE — Pressure is mounting on national chemicals experts to reject a Commission proposal to allow the Spanish chemical company Cromomed to continue using the banned chemical chromium trioxide.

GOOD AFTERNOON EVERYONE As usual, send those tips, tricks and tales to Eline Schaart at eschaart@politico.eu and Louise Guillot at lguillot@politico.eu We’re off tomorrow as it is Labor/May Day across most of Europe, but fret not: your regularly scheduled newsletter will be waiting for you on Monday afternoon.

CHEMICALS

CHEMICAL EXPERTS UNDER PRESSURE OVER AUTHORIZATION DECISION: MEPs want national chemical experts to block a company from continuing to use chromium trioxide when they (virtually) meet today. The European Commission has proposed allowing the continued use of the toxic chemical. In a letter to the Commission, obtained by POLITICO, MEPs Martin Hojsík of Renew Europe, Maria Arena with the S&D and Bas Eickhout of the Greens wrote that the Commission proposal is not an improvement on an earlier recommendation that was voted down by the European Parliament, warning it raises “serious concerns” as to the executive’s interpretation of the EU’s chemicals framework REACH. We wrote about opposition of NGOs and MEPs to the draft proposal on Monday (read that here), but this letter from the MEPs adds insights into the Commission’s reasoning as it includes an email exchange between the Commission and Arena.

The Commission, for example, refuted the MEPs’ criticism that it had not considered whether there are alternatives to chromium trioxide — a step that is necessary under REACH — arguing that the “available evidence indicated that there are no technically feasible alternatives.” That’s not true, according to the MEPs, who argue there are alternatives for some of the applications and uses for which the company, Cromomed, had applied; something also evidenced by the European Chemicals Agency’s social-economic committee.

Talking about those alternatives… Osmo Jahkola, the CEO of Savroc, a Finnish company that offers an alternative technology for chrome plating, told the Commission in an email, seen by POLITICO, that Cromomed is fully aware that there’s been an alternative on the market for the past four years. In a follow-up call, Jahkola told me he has met company representatives twice, “but they have never tested our technology.” Jahkola said that seeing Cromomed getting an authorization with a review period of seven years is “really discouraging for Savroc and other alternative providers and it is hard to understand how it can be justified.” He added: “It’s not impossible, but very difficult to scale up these alternatives if the Commission keeps allowing companies to use banned chemicals.”

Cromomed was asked for a comment, but it didn’t reply before publication.

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