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Product Stewardship in Practice | Themed session at the BOHS 2017 conference

On Thursday 17 April 2017 ECFIA representatives had the opportunity to present the Product Stewardship Programme, the CARE Programme, and toxicological and epidemiological aspects of HTIW at the 2017 BOHS conference that took place in Harrogate. Read more »

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2016 , a retrospective

With Christmas and the end of 2016 approaching we are taking the opportunity to look back on a very busy year. We will report on some of the most important and interesting things that have happened in 2016:


2016 has been a year of refocusing for ECFIA. We have come a long way since our founding in 1979, and even though there have been a lot of changes with regard to the regulatory situation and associated requirements, our main focus is still the same: to develop safe working practices and good occupational health and safety standards in the production and use of HITWs. We took the time to summarise some basic information on ECFIA and our Product Stewardship Programme in two brochures that can be downloaded here:

[Link to ECFIA image brochure]

[Link to Product Stewardship Programme brochure]

Practical guidance document series

Now containing 21 documents, the ‘CARE Guidance’ series has reached a status where there is a document on every relevant exposure control element or exposure scenario. They are written by occupational hygienists for users and give helpful information on how to put in place effective controls to minimise exposure to airborne fibres. If you need advice on, for example, local exhaust ventilation systems or maintenance and repair operations, you will find a specific document in the CARE Guidance library.

[Link to CARE Guidance library]

Candidate Listing of ASW/RCF

The European Commission has proposed an amendment of REACH Annex XIV (authorisation). The latter does not include ASW/RCF any longer and suggests postponing the decision on ASW/RCF till the most relevant regulatory approach has been found. MS representatives forming the “Art. 133 Committee” will decide on the proposal. A decision is likely to come out in the first quarter of 2017”.

[Link to the complete proposal]

Revision of the Carcinogens Directive

On 13 October 2016 the European Council reached agreement on its position on a revision of the Carcinogens Directive. In addition to the substances covered by the existing 2004 directive, it proposes to set exposure limits for a further 11 carcinogens, including a BOELV for ASW of 0,3 f/ml. This now opens the way for discussions on the directive between the Council and the European Parliament.

[Link to EC press release]

Scientific paper comparing intrapleural, intraperitoneal and inhalation test results

The paper published by Drummond G, Bevan B & Harrison P in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology compares results from inhalation studies with those from intraperitoneal/intrapleural (IP) tests for a number of fibrous and particulate test materials, including ASW/RCF, with the objective of establishing how well IP studies predict the pathological responses observed in standard inhalation studies. For many materials, positive results in the intraperitoneal test were not reflected by positive inhalation results. In addition, it was found that if a material tested negative in the intraperitoneal test it was never positive in inhalation tests. These findings led to the conclusion that the IP test can be used to exonerate a dust or fibre but should not be used to positively determine that a dust or fibre is carcinogenic by inhalation.

Scientific paper on threshold vs. non-threshold carcinogens

Recently, a paper on threshold vs. non-threshold carcinogens (co-authored by our consultant toxicologist, Professor Paul Harrison) was submitted for publication in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology (expected to be published in early 2017). This paper explains the importance of determining the threshold or non-threshold nature of a carcinogen. At present, some regulatory bodies – including those that set occupational exposure limit values – do not make this distinction, resulting in inappropriate regulation of carcinogens that have a safe level of exposure. ASW/RCF is a prime example of such a substance.

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European Commission publishes proposal for the revision of the Carcinogens Directive

On 13th May the European Commission published its proposal for the revision of the Carcinogens Directive, containing a BOELV for ASW/RCF of 0,3 f/ml. The proposal is based on scientific evidence and follows broad discussions with scientists, employers, workers, Member States’ representatives and labour inspectors, and follows the recommendation made by SCOEL in October 2010.

[Link to EC press release]

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Position paper “Regulatory Risk Management of ASW/RCF”

This document and the associated references are intended to inform regulatory decision makers about ECFIA´s approach to workplace risk management for ASW/RCF products.

It concludes that the application of OSH regulation based on the STOP principle (Substitution where feasible, otherwise Technical, Organizational and Personal exposure protection as needed), including compliance with a scientifically justified exposure limit, adequately manages the potential risk associated with the handling and use of ASW/RCF products.

[Link to document]

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ECFIA CARE Guidance library

Guidance documents on “Waste disposal” and “Removal” have been added to ECFIA´s CARE Guidance library. The library´s 20 documents have been written by industry experts and are designed to give customers of ECFIA members’ helpful information to put in place effective controls to minimise exposure to airborne fibres.

[Link to CARE Guidance website]

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ECFIA brochure

To inform interested stakeholders about ECFIA, a new brochure has been produced which includes information on the types of HTIW and where they are used, the CARE and PSP programmes, as well as on toxicological and scientific studies related to HTIW.

The brochure is electronically available as a pdf-file and also in printed format which can be ordered by contacting us at:

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New associate member

IBIDEN Hungary Kft. has joined ECFIA to become its 7th associate member. Located in the industrial park of Dunavarsány, 25 kilometers south of Budapest, the company was established in 2004 as the second European DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) producing centre of the Japanese IBIDEN Group.

After completion of registration of PCW under REACH, IBIDEN Hungary Kft. began production of fibres in 2016 and is interested in getting more involved in ECFIA’s projects in the long term.

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ECFIA annual meeting

On 3rd May 2016, ECFIA´s annual meeting took place in Liverpool, UK where members, associate members and advisors to ECFIA gathered to share their knowledge and experiences. Read more »

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Cross-Industry Initiative launches website

The Cross-Industry Initiative (CII), an ad-hoc coalition of more than 50 EU-wide organisations and companies, of which ECFIA is a founding member, has launched a new website supporting its drive to achieve the most appropriate and effective regulation for the management of chemicals in the workplace.
Read more »

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New brochure on Product Stewardship Programme available

One of ECFIA´s main objectives is to provide sound factual information on HTIWs and to develop safe working practices and good occupational health and safety standards in the production and use of HTIWs. These objectives are reflected in ECFIA´s comprehensive Product Stewardship Programme. Read more »