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FEICA REACH implementation and communication support


Adhesives and Sealants


The fundamental aim of the REACH Regulation is to ensure all uses are safe to human health and to the environment. In order to facilitate the implementation of REACH and the communication in the supply, FEICA (together with other industry sectors) has developed tools and guidance.

Use maps and use descriptors


Within REACH, "use” is defined in a specific and unique way. Established means of describing use are no longer appropriate for communicating, up and down supply chains, information relating to use. A system developed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has to be employed to enable "use” to be described in accordance with the REACH definition.

Aiming to help manufacturers and importers of substances to understand how substances are typically handled in the adhesives and sealants sector, as well as the applications in industrial processes by professional users and consumers, FEICA has compiled use descriptors covering all these use situations. FEICA mapped the uses following the Use Descriptor System described in the ECHA TGD on Information Requirements and Chemical Safety Assessment (Chapter R12 of the Guidance), and in cooperation with other downstream users within the DUCC platform, by using the UseR format (under Use Communication and Use Mapping), developed by DUCC.

The use descriptor system (UDS) is based on five separate categories of codes: 
  • Sector of Use (SU)
  • Chemical Product Category (PC)
  • Process Category (PROC)
  • Article Category (AC) 
  • Environment Release Category (ERC)

More information can be found in the FEICA Guidance highlighted below. In the interests of harmonisation and consistency, manufacturers and importers are urged to adopt relevant uses from the FEICA tables as identified uses. Both manufacturers and downstream users are encouraged to select use descriptors from the FEICA tables and to communicate these up and downstream. 

Since July 2013, the user descriptors for foam sealants are added in version 3 of the FEICA User Descriptors.

ISOPA (European diisocyanate and polyol Producers Association) and FEICA have aligned their uses for MDI, TDI and polyol.  FEICA considers ISOPA’s Use Descriptors in line with FEICA's Use Descriptors.

CEFIC (The European Chemical Industry Council) has an extensive library, available for the entire chemical industry, to support companies in the implementation of REACH as well as to enhance harmonisation.

Exposure Scenarios

SpERCs (Specific Environmental Release Categories)

In addition, FEICA has developed sector-specific SpERCs to comply with REACH chemical safety assessments. The SpERCs allow the refinement of the environmental emission estimations, as they provide more realistic parameter values. The relevant SpERCs for the adhesive and sealant industry are documented in SpERC fact sheets (which include sector-specific parameters, risk management measures and operational conditions). 

The revised FEICA SpERCs Fact sheets (version 2 - revised Feb 2013) and Chesar files are available under FEICA Papers in the Information Center. However, the second generation of SpERCs will be reviewed this year, in accordance with the work done under the Chemical Safety Report/Exposure Scenario Roadmap.

These SpERCs provide comprehensive documentation of the emission assessment in the Chemical Safety Report, and can be implemented into the current version 2.1 of CHESAR (CHEmical Safety Assessment and Reporting tool) by using the CHESAR SpERC files (Download in ZIP format).

More information on how to use the SPERCs can be found in the Cefic guidance (version 2 - October 2012) which provides information from different industry sectors, including adhesives and sealants.

Specific Consumers Exposure Determinants (SCEDs)

SCEDs are sets of realistic exposure determinants that aim to facilitate the exposure assessment of different consumer products, and are included in area 2 of the Chemical safety report/Exposure scenario roadmap.

FEICA – together with the Downstream Users of Chemicals Co-ordination group (DUCC) and CONCAWE (oil industry) – is participating in this project, to develop the first generation of SCEDs. The first developments resulting from this activity are now available; a guidance document providing assistance on how to use the SCEDs for exposure assessments, and the harmonised template to compile the SCED information.

More information about SCEDs can be found on the DUCC webpage Activities

FEICA SCED factsheets 

To assist companies with the chemical safety assessments of adhesives and sealants consumer’s products, FEICA SCEDs are publicly available as supporting information on their typical conditions of use. The SCEDs harmonised factsheets facilitate the communication of the conditions of safe use of consumer products, and are expressed in a form that can be fed into the commonly applied exposure assessment tools.

At the present, FEICA has developed SCEDs factsheets covering the following adhesive and sealant products: 
  • universal glues, 
  • glues for DIY-use, 
  • spray glues,
  • joint sealants. 

The FEICA SCEDs are intended to represent realistic assumptions for consumer exposure assessments for these specific products. 

Note: The values included in the FEICA SCED factsheets are being reviewed to take into account the results of the FEICA survey on consumers’ uses and habits. A background document to support these results is under development and will be available shortly.

SAFE USE OF MIXTURES: SUMIs and SWEDs

In December 2015 DUCC published an explanatory Guidance on "Sector-specific approaches towards developing and communicating information for the safe use of mixtures".
 
The document, available on the Publications section of the DUCC website, explains the ‘bottom-up’ approach developed by some Downstream Users sector associations (including FEICA) for deriving information on the safe use of mixtures.
 
This approach has two main elements: 
  • Safe Use of Mixtures Information (SUMIs), which aim to provide simplified and tailored information on the safe use of mixtures for end-users.
  • Sector-Specific Workers Exposure Descriptions (SWEDs), which contain detailed information for the workers exposure assessment and are the basis of the SUMIs.

External links

ECHA support (regulations, guidance tools, FAQs, etc.): http://echa.europa.eu/support
Downstream Users of Chemicals Co-ordination Group - DUCC: http://www.ducc.eu/Home.aspx
The ECETOC Targeted Risk Assessment (TRA) tool: http://www.ecetoc.org/tra 
European Solvents Industry Group (ESIG):  http://www.esig.org/en/regulatory-information/reach