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Too Broad application to save Hard Chrome

B&B coatings of Huddersfield have recently been in touch with the ECHA about rumours of a Hard Chrome Ban. The process, which is already outlawed in America, has been on the European Chemicals Agencies list of annexed chemicals since 2013.

The ECHA told us that although the new tighter restrictions were “not a ban per se” only authorised manufacturers would be able to use the process. A consortium of companies have put forward such an application, and were awaiting approval.

Many in the industry had naturally assumed that since Hard Chrome is so popular, that these approvals would be a foregone conclusion, but there has been doubt placed on this by the ECHA themselves.

The application by a consortium of 150 manufacturers applies for nearly every use of Hard Chrome plating except in the production of leather. Chemsec’s Thersa Kjell said that “authorisation applications this broad make it virtually impossible for ECHA’s committees to correctly judge if there is adequate control, and suitable limitation for an authorisation and its socio-economic consequences.”

This means that any application granted may only come into effect for a very short period of time, if at all. The restrictions will come into place on the 21st of September 2017. This is not a long time to consider an alternative for your products, so B&B encourage manufacturers to try alternatives today.

The ECHA are still quite insistent that “The substances on Annex XIV have been put there for a reason. They should be phased out, due to their hazardous properties.”

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