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Chemicals

Restrictions - Asbestos exemptions by Member States

EXEMPTIONS GRANTED BY EU MEMBER STATES AND EEA-EFTA STATES ON ASBESTOS CONTAINED IN ARTICLES PURSUANT TO ENTRY 6 OF ANNEX XVII OF REGULATION (EC) 1907/2006 (REACH)

In accordance with Entry 6 of Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), the manufacture, placing on the market and use of asbestos fibres and of articles containing these fibres added intentionally is prohibited. This entry lists 6 types of asbestos: chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite and actinolite.

According to paragraph 1 of Entry 6, Member States may exempt the placing on the market and use of diaphragms containing chrysotile for existing electrolysis installations until they reach the end of their service life, or until suitable asbestos-free substitutes become available, whichever is the sooner.

Paragraph 2 specifies that Member States may allow placing on the market of articles in their entirety containing asbestos fibres referred to in paragraph 1 which were already installed and/or in service before 1 January 2005, under specific conditions ensuring a high level of protection of human health.

As regards exemptions granted in line with paragraph 1, Member States had to provide a report to the Commission by 1 June 2011 on:

  • the availability of asbestos-free substitutes for electrolysis installations and the efforts undertaken to develop such alternatives,
  • the protection of workers' health in the installations,
  • the source and quantities of chrysotile,
  • the source and quantities of diaphragms containing chrysotile, and
  • the envisaged date of the end of the exemption.

As regards the exemption granted in line with paragraph 2, Member States had to communicate the national measures to the Commission by 1 June 2011.

With the present report, the Commission makes publicly available the information communicated by Member States according to the entry 6 of Annex XVII of REACH.

Report pdf - 2 MB [2 MB] (compendium)

In compliance with the provision in paragraph 1 of entry 6 of Annex XVII of REACH,  the Commission has requested the European Chemicals Agency to prepare a dossier in accordance with Article 69 of REACH with a view to prohibit the placing on the market and use of diaphragms containing chrysotile. 

Request letter to ECHA pdf - 88 KB [88 KB]

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