EU – ECHA Proposes Definition of “Prolonged Contact with the Skin” for Nickel Restriction (Annex XVII to REACH)
Vol. 797 | December 05, 2014
The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) released a document via its website in order to provide a proposal for a definition for “prolonged contact with the skin” in relation to nickel (Ni) restriction (Entry 27 of Annex XVII to REACH) with justification based on the available scientific evidence.
The background is that Entry 27 of Annex XVII to REACH states nickel shall not be used “in articles intended to come into direct and prolonged contact with the skin…, if the rate of nickel release from the parts of these articles coming into direct and prolonged contact with the skin is greater than 0.5 µg/cm2/week” but the “direct and prolonged contact” is not defined in this restriction.
The below minimum contact time as a definition for “prolonged contact with the skin” is now proposed by ECHA in this new guidance document:
Prolonged contact with the skin is defined as contact with the skin of nickel of potentially more than
- 10 minutes on three or more occasions within two weeks, or
- 30 minutes on one or more occasions within two weeks.
The currently agreed upon interpretations are mentioned in Annex 2 of this document. Mobile telephones are covered by the restriction because their uses satisfy the condition of “direct and prolonged contact with the skin”. However, coins are outside the scope of the restriction according to another Regulation.
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