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News on Worldwide Regulations Affecting Manganese (Update)

JULY – DECEMBER 2011

ASIA (China, Japan, S. Korea, Taiwan & India)

There are several regulations in China that affect the manufacture and use of chemicals. The Regulation on the safe management of hazardous chemicals (existing chemicals) came into force in December 2011, replacing the 2002 version. Existing substances are listed in an inventory/catalogue and are defined as “hazardous chemicals” when they are considered to be highly toxic, corrosive, explosive, flammable or harmful to human health or the environment. The catalogue contains the following manganese based substances: manganese metal, manganese iodate, calcium silico-manganese, resin acids manganese and manganese nitrate.

China’s Global Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling stipulates that companies cannot sell hazardous chemicals without a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and a chemical safety label. These must be prepared in accordance with national standards. Although China GHS applies to all chemicals, it is currently believed that only hazardous chemicals that do not comply with national MSDS and labelling standards will incur a fine. The new GHS legislation in China came into application on May 1st, 2011, although the months running up until December 1st, was deemed to be a ‘transitional period’, and no penalties were issued. Labelling of chemicals in line with China GHS is similar to the labelling requirements in the UN GHS 1st edition but differs slightly from the EU Classification Labelling and Packaging Regulation (EU CLP).

The following manganese based substances are not found in the Inventory of Existing Chemical Substances produced or imported in China (IECSC), hence are regulated by China REACH which came into force in 2010: SiMn slag, FeMn slag and Sinter Ore.

On the 9th August 2011, the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) of China released a revised version of the Measures for the Administration of Operating Licenses for Hazardous Chemicals (THE MEASURES) for public consultation. The regulation came into force on December 15, 2011.

The Japanese Chemical Substance Control Law (CSCL) was subject to major amendment in 2009 and came into force in two phases during 2010 and 2011. The amendment was made to harmonise with regulations in other countries or communities such as the EU Registration Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH). Moving forward, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) and the Japanese competent authorities recently announced that they will enhance technical cooperation and the exchange of views on regulatory tasks – published 2011.

Under this new amendment, manganese (as an element) and its compounds are listed as Class I designated Chemical Substances under the Japanese regulation (Transfer Registerand Promotion of Chemical Management (PRTR)) – these are substances for which manufacture and importation are strictly restricted. This means that an annual environmental release should be reported to the competent authority using the PRTR System and an MSDS is required.

Although the proposal for a ‘REACH-like’ legislation in South Korea was released in February 2010 and is currently under discussion it will only come into force in 2013 or 2014. Therefore, the legislation in place - the Toxic Chemicals Control Act (TCCA) is still in force. In September 2011, substances were added to the TCCA observational and toxic chemicals lists. No manganese-based substances were added to these lists.

Classification labelling and packaging in accordance with GHS is mandatory in South Korea. For substances the deadline is 1st July 2011, for mixtures 1st July 2013. Since 1st July 2011 it is now mandatory for companies to use GHS classifications provided for Toxic chemicals under TCCA for labelling and in MSDSs. However, no manganese-based substances are listed as toxic chemicals or observational chemicals.

Taiwan is introducing a system of new chemicals notification, through amendments to the Labour Safety and Health Act (LSHA) and the Toxic Chemical Substance Control Act (TCSCA). The amendments still need to be approved formally. An inventory of existing chemicals is under development with a publication date scheduled for the end of 2011.

India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests published a draft legislation called Hazardous Substances (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) Rules, 2011 in July of this year. The rules detail the responsibilities and procedures for supply chains handling hazardous substances. These are described as “any substance or preparation, which by reason of its chemical or physico-chemical properties or handling, is liable to cause harm to human beings, or other living creatures, plants, micro-organisms, property or the environment”.

North America (Mexico, Canada, USA)

In Mexico’s 2011 official Chemical Gazette, Mexico became the first NAFTA country to adopt the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classification and labelling. The standard allows companies to use the GHS on a voluntarily basis as a way of complying with the existing mandatory standard for classification, labelling and safety data sheets in the workplace, while at the same time meeting the GHS requirements of countries in Europe, Asia and South America.

In Canada, new substances need to be notified so that they can be assessed for their risk to human health or the environment before manufacture or import into the country. New substances are considered to be those that are not on Canada’s Domestic Substance List (DSL).

Existing substances on the DSL have undergone a categorisation process, conducted by the Government of Canada. This year, Environment Canada carried out a “categorisation process”. Categorisation is based on level and type of toxicity to the environment and human health. Four of the manganese substances listed on the DSL are categorised, all of them on the basis of human health criteria and not the environment. These substances are manganese, manganese oxide, manganese dioxide and manganese sulphide. FeMn Slag, SiMn slag and Sinter Ore though not listed on the DSL are listed on the Non-Domestic Substance List (NDSL).

The United States Environment Protection Agency (US EPA) has proposed (November 2011) amendments to the national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants from Ferroalloy production. These proposed amendments include revisions to particulate matter standards for electric arc furnaces, metal oxygen refining processes, and crushing and screening operations.

Furthermore, the amendment expands and revises the requirements to control fugitive emissions from furnace operations and casting. Other proposed requirements related to testing, monitoring, notification, recordkeeping, and reporting are included.

South America (Brazil)

In South America, initiatives are being developed to increase cooperation between South American countries in order to increase the competitiveness of their chemical industry worldwide.

Brazil adopted the Globally Harmonised System of classification and labelling of chemicals (GHS) in 2009 and is now aiming to develop a regional strategy for GHS implementation in the MERCOSUR countries (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay) and Chile.

In May 2011 the Ministry of Labour and Employment revised Health and Safety Labour Standard Number 26 to adopt GHS classification, labelling and safety data sheets. The Brazilian technical standard concerned with GHS is currently based on the first edition of the GHS, but is expected to be revised to align with the GHS 3rd edition. There has been no further update post May 2011.

European Union (all 27 countries)

Presently, the Commission is working on the development of a proposal for the revision of the European Waste list that aims at determining whether a waste is listed as hazardous or not. It also intends to align the hazardous property criteria with the EU Classification Labelling and Packaging Regulation.

Over the past months the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has published several Registration Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) guidance documents. Of interest to the Mn industry is the NEW guidance on Safety Data Sheets (SDS) published on the 8th September 2011.

The EU Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL) published a recommendation for occupational exposure limits for manganese and its inorganic compounds (0.2mg/m3 inhalable and 0.05mg/m3 respirable) in the second half of the year. As next steps, the SCOEL recommendation has to be discussed and agreed within the EU Commission Tripartite Committee before it can become part of a new Directive. 

Other Europe (Turkey, Switzerland)

In Turkey the Inventory and Control of Chemicals (CICR) came into force on 1st January 2009. This scheme requires the notification of all new and existing substances >1 tpa. The deadline for registration was extended to 2010 and then to 31st March 2011. There has been no further update to this regulation.

Swiss regulators have not updated their chemical regulation since the middle of the year. They have mainly focussed on the food safety and public health legislation which does not include any manganese-based substances. 

Africa (South Africa, Nigeria…)

Due to the fragmented environmental legislation in many African countries, there have been difficulties implementing the legislation(s). Currently, efforts are being made to strengthen environmental legislation in southern African countries, including South Africa. The project ‘Management of Chemicals in English-speaking African Countries’ was recently initiated, aiming to improve the implementation of international environmental agreements. This 2-year project concerns English-speaking African countries served by the Africa Institute (AI) and is funded by the Swedish Chemical Agency (KemI). The project aims to strengthen control and management of the movement of chemicals across these countries. It is hoped that the project will reduce the hazards posed by chemicals in domestic, agricultural and industrial situations and enhance the implementation of the UN Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.

Efforts are also being made by industry groups to improve chemical safety in South Africa, and other African countries. The focus is on a harmonised system of classification and labelling.

Australia

Metal and metal-containing compounds are considered differently than the individual substances present on the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) reporting list. Manganese and its compounds are present in the NPI list, which requires that data on sources and source locations, volumes and emissions to air, land and water must be reported annually. The data from the reporting is stored and can be accessed by the public and used by academics, researchers, the media and others.

A recent Australian Government publication (Australian Government 2011) released guidance on how emissions should be reported. 

 

For more info contact: ohes@manganese.org

 

 

 

 
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