The Austrian Umweltbundesamt (Environment Agency Austria) has published the final version of its study into a methodology for updating the List of Restricted Substances used in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE), specifically Annex II of the Directive on the Restriction of the use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS2) 2011/65/EU. The review process began in 2012, and undertook three stakeholder meetings and four internet consultations.
The final report targets nanomaterials for issues relating to waste management, even though it notes that ‘exposure to humans and the environment at the use stage is considered to be low because it is bound in a matrix in most uses’. The Austrian agency concluded that if ‘the substance is used as a nanomaterial in EEE and there are concerns about [the] negative effects on human health or the environment’, the substance has to be considered ‘waste relevant’ and therefore given a higher priority for a detailed evaluation and assessment that could lead to restriction of use. To support its work, the Austrian EPA also collated an inventory of substances used in EEE; this contains 738 substances, 31 of which have already been restricted. Interestingly thirty substances in the inventory, including substances at the nanoscale, are not classified by CAS (Chemical Abstracts Service).
Looking at future uses of this methodology, the final document states that ‘within each review cycle’ the inventory should be updated with information on ‘potential negative effects of nano-materials used in EEE’.
Follow this link to download the final report and this link to access the portal of the Austrian EPA dedicated to this study. Alternatively follow this link to read NIA comments on the 3rd Consultation on the Study for the Review of the List of Restricted Substances under RoHS2, and this link to read the NIA Comments on the Inventory of Substances present in EEE for the Review of RoHS2 Annex II.