Leather UK has been advised that the European Commission intend to press ahead with a proposal to add Glutaraldehyde to the REACH Directive list of substances of very high concern (SVHC), including its use in tanning chemicals. This is on the basis of that it is a respiratory sensitiser.
If classified as SVHC, the use of Glutaraldehyde will only be possible with an authorisation; authorisation dossiers are very complex and costly and need to be submitted by (or on behalf of) the substance users. The implications for those companies involved in the production of wet-white, chrome-free, synthetically tanned leathers are likely to be negatively impacted by the proposed restriction.
The consultation on the classification of glutaraldehyde as an SVHC is now open and it would be helpful for those businesses that will be affected by the proposed restriction to contribute, including the application including safety measures, the importance , the implication for exports to the EU, the impact on the business and any issues around substitution. The ECHA dossier and consultation response document can be found here, https://echa.europa.eu/substances-of-very-high-concern-identification/-/substance-rev/27507/term. Opinions from businesses in third countries are welcomed.
It is also important to remember that this comes in the context of a probable reduction in the CrVI limit for leather (to 1ppm) and the potential regulation of Bisphenol-S, one of the other key chemicals in syntans.
Please copy Leather UK in to any submissions made on this issue.