Since the special edition of our newsletter in November, we have been actively engaged in addressing key industry issues.
I am delighted to announce that George Gallagher (Bakelite Synthetics) and I have been re-elected for the next two years, continuing our roles as the Vice Chairman and Chairman of Formacare, respectively. The re-election took place at the General Assembly in Bologna. We are grateful for the trust and confidence expressed by the members. We also look forward to celebrating next years the 20 year anniversary of Formacare.
As we approach the end of 2023, we take a moment to reflect on our achievements, and with a forward-looking perspective, we are already planning for the future. In 2024, our focus will remain on advocating for science-based legislation, not only in Europe but also in other regions. In particular, long lasting scientific projects of Formacare will find conclusions next year and we cannot wait to share with you all the findings.
To stay updated on the latest developments at Formacare and in our industry, we encourage you to follow us on LinkedIn and ensure you are registered for this newsletter if you haven’t done so already.
On this, I wish you all a happy holiday season.
Lars Eric Johansson
Formacare respectfully disagrees with the ANSES opinion establishing a link between formaldehyde exposure and myeloid leukaemia
On 14 November 2023, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) released an opinion (in French) suggesting a causal link between formaldehyde and myeloid leukaemia. Formacare respectfully disagrees with this conclusion, as it does not present new scientific evidence establishing a direct connection between formaldehyde exposure and myeloid leukaemia in humans.
Formacare issued a press statement, available on our website (link below). Our statement underlines that, beyond the absence of new scientific evidence, ANSES’s conclusions are at odds with existing EU risk assessments. In light of this, we urge the European Commission and ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) to continue upholding a science-based approach for the regulation of formaldehyde and in the future.
We understand that this topic may raise concerns, and we want to assure you that Formacare is committed to ensuring transparency in all our practices and available evidence. We will continue to provide updates and informed perspectives on this matter.
Occupational safety and formaldehyde in Europe – a regulatory success story
The question of occupational safety when formaldehyde is involved is a question of preoccupation in Europe. The European producers of formaldehyde gathered in Formacare would like to reinstate that the occupational safety legislation on formaldehyde is a European regulatory success story.
Formaldehyde is one of the most evaluated chemicals globally and one of the first registered substances in REACH. Besides, the industry continues to keep the dossier up to date on a regular basis and when new scientific evidence is brought to its attention.
The current state of formaldehyde regulation on occupational safety – marked by the successful implementation of BOEL (Binding Occupational Exposure Limit), voluntary industry agreements, and recognition for safety achievements, is indicative of a proactive and responsible industry.
In view of this, Formacare issued in December a factual reminder of the state of play for the legislation of formaldehyde in Europe to ensure worker safety.
Progress reports on new Sensory Irritation Studies and an updated Assessment of Alternatives to formaldehyde
In 2023, work continued on several Formacare projects that will find conclusions next year. The two lead projects to be reported here are part of the essence of Formacare proactive approach to generating data to sustain the regulation of formaldehyde.
Studies on sensory irritation
Started in 2021, two new studies have progressed this year, addressing the question of sensory irritation to formaldehyde via inhalation. These studies are expected to be the new state of the art evidence on the sensory irritation formaldehyde may cause when inhaled. This type of evidence will be decisive to further matter in the weight of evidence supporting the threshold mode of action of formaldehyde for carcinogenicity. They will also become a key asset for future dialogues with competent authorities. The two studies will be finalised in 2024, peer-reviewed and ultimately published in independent scientific journals.
Assessment of Alternatives to formaldehyde
This year, Formacare started to work with an external consultant to review the existing knowledge and practicalities on the question of alternatives to formaldehyde-based products. This exercise is expected to be the most comprehensive exercise in this regard. It will provide a clear overview of the current situation and will support the work of Formacare in the coming years. This new assessment will be concluded in 2024; Formacare is committed to publish its findings.
Greetings from Bologna: the Formacare members met for the General Assembly
Members of Formacare were delighted to meet again in November for the Executive Committee and General Assembly held in Bologna, where important discussions for the future of the formaldehyde industry in Europe took place.
We are pleased to announce that, as mentioned in the introduction, the roles of Lars Eric Johansson as Formacare’s Chair and George Gallagher as Vice-Chair have been renewed for the next two years. Also, the Secretariat received a clear mandate from the group to carry on with their work in 2024. Furthermore, the members have given their approval for the budget for the year 2024.
It is also with great pleasure that we welcomed Allnex into our membership. We look forward to the valuable contributions they will bring to our group.
In the coming year, we have exciting plans that we are eager to collaborate on. Notably, 2024 will mark the 20th anniversary of Formacare, a significant milestone that we plan to celebrate during the upcoming General Assembly scheduled for June in Brussels. We anticipate this event will not only be a celebration of past accomplishments but also an opportunity to contemplate the opportunities and challenges that the future holds for our industry.