The countdown to the holiday season has started and with that our reflections on what the year has brought us. 2022 was a bit of a roller coaster: for instance, we were faced with the restriction and the re-classification of formaldehyde and the proposal to nominate a key material of the amino resin industry as a ‘Substance of Very High Concern’. We expect that 2023 will lead to final conclusions on these matters.
As far as the broader EU policy context for 2023 is concerned, we expect the proposals for the revision of REACH by the end of the year. This initiative will come with the concept of essential use for chemicals, clarifications around the intermediate definition, a protocol for the registration of some polymers, etc.
In response, we continue to be on the lookout for innovations in which formaldehyde proves to be a key element. Through this, we strive to demonstrate the versatility of a marvellous building block which has not yet revealed all its secrets.
If you want to know more, continue to follow us on LinkedInand registerfor this newsletter if not done already.
In the meantime, I wish you a very pleasant holiday and look forward to seeing you again in the new year!
Lars Eric Johansson, Executive Vice President Industrial Relations at OQ Chemicals Chairman of Formacare
Formacare welcomes the forthcoming restriction on formaldehyde in articles
Given that the restriction under REACH on formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers in articles has not been fully approved in 2022, we bring it to your attention once again. Discussions have continued among authorities in the second half of 2022 and Formacare issued its final position, supporting the proposal of the European Commission.
Now, members of Formacare are calling on authorities to swiftly adopt the restriction proposal for protecting consumers from unsafe products, setting the ground for a fairer competition with outside Europe, and harmonising the quality of articles within Europe.
“What is formaldehyde and how is it used?” Formacare launches a video
We are very proud to launch our first video on formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a very versatile and naturally occurring substance that provides many unique properties. It thus found its way into our modern way of life, even though it was already present during the creation of our universe.
Did we pique your curiosity? Take a look at our video and stay tuned: more videos will follow.
Greetings from Barcelona: members of Formacare met for the Autumn season General Assembly in Spain
In November, members of Formacare met in person for the second General Assembly of 2022 to catch up on the priorities of the group and provide the Secretariat with a clear set of priorities and mandates for 2023.
Among various issues, members discussed the news concerning the REACH restriction and the regulatory developments of melamine. Furthermore, it was agreed to form a new working group under Formacare to address a famous formaldehyde-based polymer called POM. Lastly, the budget for next year was approved.
The Secretariat is now looking forward to meeting the members again in May 2023 for the next General Assembly.
Formacare supported a scientific review of the TVOC concept
It is established that Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) can affect people’s health and well-being when released in indoor environments as gas and at room temperature. Hence the concept of TVOC has been used for over 40 years as a decisive criterion to assess whether construction products are suitable for indoor use and air quality.
As formaldehyde is often addressed in TVOC-related discussions, Formacare wanted to understand how this concept can be used by regulators and thus co-sponsored a scientific review by the Fraunhofer WKI Institute to get a deeper understanding of how TVOC can be defined and to what extent the parameter is used correctly.
The study highlighted a lack of harmonisation and a risk of misinterpretation of the TVOC indicator’s definition and implementation.
Tackling plastic waste through biodegradability: does the solution lie in formaldehyde?
On one hand, it is no secret that we are currently going through a serious waste management crisis. Plastics in particular are stuck in the middle of this discussion. On the other hand, formaldehyde is a very versatile building block used to produce other – more complex – chemical molecules. One of them is called 1,4-Butanediol, or BDO.
Over the years, BDO has been identified as a key component in the production of biodegradable polymers that are used successfully in alternatives to more common non-biodegradable plastics to manufacture consumer and garbage bags, tableware, or mulch films.