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ECHA reports rise in non-compliant hand disinfectants in EU markets

June 29/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA; Helsinki, Finland) says that 20 EU member states have reported an increase in non-compliant hand disinfectants on their markets since March, triggered by high demand for these products to fight COVID-19, reported Chemweek.

The authorities in EU countries are performing inspections and taking measures that include fines and the withdrawal of the products from the market, and communicating them in Rapid Alert System for Non-Food Products (RAPEX) to raise public awareness about the ineffective products marketed to consumers as disinfectants, ECHA says.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led many member states to grant health emergency permits, to increase and speed up the production of disinfectants. This was encouraged by the EU to ensure that healthcare professionals and citizens have access to these products. However, this has attracted new producers and suppliers to the market, some of which appear to be taking advantage of the situation, although most may simply not have prior knowledge of the legal framework, ECHA says.

As a result, many member states have identified disinfectants that do not have the required authorization or permit, or lack hazard labeling, ECHA says. Moreover, there were cases reported of products that claimed to be disinfectants but which had a formulation that cannot be sufficiently effective against viruses, the agency adds.

When disinfectants are manufactured or used inappropriately, they can be a health risk rather than keep us safe. It is important for national authorities to check and enforce the legal provisions, also in times where we face exceptional circumstances. ECHA is collecting the national authorities feedback on specific difficulties and urgent questions that need to be clarified to support enforcement at a national level, says Erwin Annys, head/support and enforcement at ECHA.

ECHA and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) have agreed to share information of mutual interest collected in the context of inquiries related to the COVID-19 crisis, the agency says. The OLAF unit in charge of fighting against counterfeit goods and illicit trade launched in March an inquiry into illicit trafficking of COVID-19 related products, including disinfectants, ECHA says. 

As MRC wrote previously, in early April 2020, Clariant announced it had started monthly production of 2 million liters of disinfectant at its facilities in Gendorf, Germany.

We remind that in early March 2020, SABIC purchased additional shares in Clariant, increasing its holding in the company from 24.99% to 31.5%. The move is part of Sabics growth strategy to achieve a leadership position among global peers in specialties and increase this segments contribution to Sabic. Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

Earlier last year, SABIC took off-stream its SABIC Olefins 4 cracker owing to technical issues on May 10, 2019. Further details on duration of the shutdown could not be ascertained. Located in beek, the Netherlands, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 690,000 mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 360,000 mt/year.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 721,290 tonnes in the first four month of 2020, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments grew partially because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim.  At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 347,440 tonnes in January-April 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Supply exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:Europe, PP, PE, LLDPE, PP random copolymer, propylene, LDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, adhesives, Clariant International, Sabic, Germany, Netherlands, Rossiya.
Category:General News
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