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Third Stakeholder Meeting on RoHS 2 List of Restricted Substances to be held

Environment Agency Austria (Umweltbundesamt), which is responsible for the Study for the Review of the List of Restricted Substances under the directive on the on the Restriction of the use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (RoHS2) Directive that was commissioned by the European Commission's DG Environment, will organise a third stakeholder meeting on this study on 28 October 2013.

This year Umweltbundesamt has been elaborating upon a methodology for the identification of assessment of substances for potential restriction under RoHS2. The September 2013 version of the Methodology Manual for the Identification and Assessment of Substances for a potential Restriction under RoHS2 contains provisions that specifically apply to nanomaterials.

Nanomaterials are mentioned in Step P2) of the methodology. This step is dedicated to the prioritisation of substances and aims to ‘identify those substances or groups of substances which are of highest concern regarding their potential negative impact on human health, the environment or resource efficiency during WEEE management’. Prioritisation is done in accordance with a material's hazardous properties as well as its waste relevance, according to Article 6 (1) of RoHS2. It is an article that very much targets nanomaterials as it includes ‘substances of very small size or with a very small internal or surface structure, or a group of similar substances’ in the categories of substances that require special attention.

In the prioritisation scheme described by Umweltbundesamt, a substance is considered as ‘waste relevant’ if it fulfills the following criterion: ‘the substance is used as a nano-material in EEE and there are concerns about negative effects on human health or the environment’.

Earlier this year, NIA representatives attended relevant workshops and submitted comments on the methodology, as it had aimed to put nanomaterials under a specific regime.

In addition, the Austrian agency recently released the Second Interim Report, which presents ‘outcomes of applying the methodology’, as well as the results of the consultation on the inventory of substances used in EEE that was elaborated upon over the summer. ‘As due to the requirements of RoHS2 special attention shall be given to the use of nano-materials in EEE the recent review of nano-materials by the European Commission was analysed,' states the interim report. It also states that 'more than 30 substances used as nano-materials were reported’.

Together with this report, Environment Agency Austria published the list of prioritised substances; it is noteworthy to emphasise on the absence of nanomaterials in that list.

NIA will be represented at the 28 October 2013 Stakeholder meeting.



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