Environmental health concerns will require permission for use
Chemicals used in cleanrooms have been added to the European Union’s ‘authorisation’ list over environmental health concerns.
A listing requires cleanrooms wanting to use these chemicals to seek permission from the European Commission, advised by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA). The chemicals are potassium dichromate and trichloroethylene, which will require authorisation for use from September 2017 and April 2016 respectively.
Potassium dichromate, used to make chromic acid for cleaning glassware and as an oxidising agent in various laboratories, was listed for being carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction. Trichloroethylene, used for cold-cleaning of fabricated metal parts and as a solvent in vapour-degreasing, is a carcinogen.
ECHA has clarified that cleanrooms applying for authorisation can continue using these chemicals after these ‘sunset dates’ while waiting for a Commission decision.