First signs of EU biocide testing delay

Commission extends notification deadline for active substances; industry warns further slippage possible

The first hints of delay in a ten-year EU safety review of biocidal products have arisen with a European Commission announcement that manufacturers will have almost one extra year to notify existing product ingredients to risk assessment authorities. But industry fears that more serious delays could hit the process, and says the 2008 target date for the creation of an EU safe list now "looks difficult".

Biocides include non-agricultural pesticides such as rat killer, ant poison, wood preservatives and slimicides. The 1998 directive adopted to regulate them is modelled strongly on earlier legislation tackling pesticides. Both foresee a decade-long testing drive to arrive at a positive EU list of active ingredients permitted for formulation into products (EED 14/01/98).

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