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HSE Committee update – March 2021


The meeting of the HSE Committee in January took place once again as a webconference. However, we hope to have a physical meeting later this year. One topic discussed was the REACH review process in light of the new EU green deal. Amongst others, the Commission is primarily focusing on the following three issues: essential uses; persistent, mobile and toxic criteria; endocrine disruptors criteria; and mixture assessment factors (MAFs). These will most certainly impact the lubricant industry. “Essential uses” means that substances of concern may be used only in certain applications, but it is still unclear who decides what “essential” means. Worse still, the Commission has categorised substances into different groups, e.g. all kinds of per- and polyfluorinated hydrocarbons will be assessed together even though the individual compounds differ widely in their chemical properties. The mixture assessment factor is an attempt to assess the risk of mixtures for both the environment and humanity instead of a single substance assessment. In March, the HSE Committee had the opportunity to discuss these points with EU representatives (DG ENV, European Commission). It turned out that many of our concerns are not yet sorted out and the final definition of “grouping”, “MAFs” and “essential uses” will be decided later this year.  The HSE committee will follow these discussions and keep the lubricant industry updated.

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