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Sweden’s lead classification would damage market: ILA

Keywords: Tags  International Lead Association, lead metal, recycling, ECHA, Sweden, Mark Burton

LONDON — Sweden’s proposal to classify all forms of lead metal as a proven reproductive hazard will have damaging effects on the recycling and marketing of a range of metallic substances and products in Europe, the International Lead Association (ILA) has warned.

As the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA’s) public consultation on the issue closed Friday, the ILA claimed Sweden’s dossier lacks scientific robustness and calls for overprecautionary action.

The country is proposing that all forms of lead metal be assigned a Category 1A classification, bringing them into the scope of the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (Reach) regulations.

It is also asking the ECHA to set down a specific concentration limit that will lead to any substance, mixture, metal or alloy with a lead content above 0.03 percent to be classified as hazardous to human reproductive health.

Many more products will be assigned to this category if Sweden’s motion is passed, and this will have damaging trickle-down effects, the ILA said.

"We do not believe the dossier submitted by Sweden contains sufficient justification to support the conclusions that lead in massive form meets the criteria for classification in the European Union as a proven human reproductive health hazard," ILA managing director Andy Bush said Friday.

Sweden’s dossier makes scientifically unsound assumptions that exposure to lead metal in massive form would have the same health effects as exposure to soluble lead compounds, the ILA added.

A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin.

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