jueves, 8 de octubre de 2009

Chemical insanities

In the Spanish version of one of the most popular social media, Facebook, there is an application called "Chemical Insanities" ("loqueras químicas"), probably developed by a Latin-American author (in Spain, people never say "loqueras", they use the word "locuras" instead).

It is just a mere jokes generator. When ever you press a key, randomly answers a "chemical joke", but the most of the jokes are very bad: "to feel more positive, loose an electron", and some other like that.

I am going to tell you another "chemical insanity", not very funny, but very, very insane: ”I once met a man who told me he understood the implementation process of GHS in the EU”. You can get crazy before...

(I personally prefer GHS - Global Harmonized System - than CLP – Classification, Labelling and Packaging… call it mania but I think is more descriptive).

We assume it is difficult. We presuppose it is complicated… but, it is possible to do it worse?. In yesterday entry, Irantzu explained her personal nightmare trying to guess what version of annex I of Directive 67/548/EEC is nowadays in force or, maybe, if the GHS Regulation came in force by the rear door.

In fact, Spanish Health Ministry is doing the reclassification of the labels of every biocide permission, adapting them, not to the GHS, what they are going to be complied to do on December 2010 (June 2015, in case of mixtures) but to the 31st Adaptation to Technical Progress of the annex I of Directive 67/548/EEC, ATP no yet implemented by Spanish Government, contributing with a little more of confusion.

Irantzu explained the doubt: GHS Regulation delay the coming into force of its own titles II, III and IV to December 1st, 2010 for chemical substances and to June, 1st 2015, for mixtures. The rest of the regulation, in January 2009.

Article 62 - Entry into force: This Regulation shall enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Titles II, III and IV shall apply in respect of substances from 1 December 2010 and in respect of mixtures from 1 June 2015

It was logical. Industry, and authorities, needs some months of hard work to make the re-classification of every chemical, and fulfil the consequences of the new classification.

But the article dedicated to reform of Directive 67/548/EEC (Article 55 - Amendments to Directive 67/548/EEC) is on Title VII (Common and final provisions)… title that came into force on January 2009… it determinates that all references to “Annex I” included in our old and loved directive shall be replaced by “Part 3 of Annex VI to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008” and on article 55.11 simply says: Annex I shall be deleted.

Then you may think: European Regulations do not need any transposition into internal law to be full applicable and article 55 came into force on January 2009… ergo Annex I to Directive 67/548/EEC is deleted now… ergo Part 3 of Annex VI to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 is fully and compulsory applicable in Spain… today!….

Well… if it were true, we should be worried about labelling, of course, but the worst part is that following the classification of chemicals came an awesome tasks of other regulations: Seveso, Safety and Health at Work, storage of chemicals… all demandable today?, all fully applicable today?... oh, my God! where’s my hole to hide myself?

But this interpretation is wrong… (thanks Lord!), because in this case Regulation 1272/2008 is a mere instrument to reform the Directive 67/548/EEC but the nature of the Directive does not change it, in its new redaction, still needs a transposition to internal law.

If not, if GHS came into force on January 2009 (by the indirect gate of eliminate de annex I to Directive 67/548/EEC)… would had any sense to publish two additional directives of ATPs (30th and 31st)?, in fact: would had any sense to delay the application of any part of GHS if the key stone is compulsory nowadays?

More absurd would be to understand that ATPs 30th and 31st are applicable without implementation of a Royal Decree or Ministerial Order… which is the magical difference between the last two ATPs and the 29 prior ones?

As we have been doing for years the recommendation of accomplish the European Directives as soon as possible, we advise not to wait the implementation. Because moral responsibility and, also, by legal responsibilities….

Our recommendation of adapt our classification, labelling and MSDS to the 31st ATPs is on the table…. And start working jointly with GHS too. But, we must have clear that one thing is a recommendation and other, very different, is an obligation, a legal obligation.

We have hard work until December 2010, but permit us do it… please.

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