The largest manufacturers, importers and usres of chromium trioxide have founded a European Consortium whose goal is to achieve authorization for further use of chromium trioxide. K.Walter joined this association on March 8, 2012. In close cooperation with the ERA, K.Walter intends to represent the interest of the gravure printing industry in the best way possible.
Against the backdrop of a recommendation by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) from December 2011, this commitment seems urgently needed. The ECHA recommendation calls for authorization of chromium trioxide under REACH. In gravure printing, chromium trioxide is used to produce hard chromium layers for printing cylinders. If the EU accedes to this recommendation, then almost certainly from the beginning of 2013, chromium trioxide will almost certainly be included in the REACH Annex XIV for generally forbidden substances.
- With inclusion in Annex XIV, marketing and use of this substance will be banned in the EU 39 months later, that is, in mid-2016.
- The only circumstances under which this prohibition would not apply would be upon user-specific authorization, i.e. after submission of a request to ECHA, who would have to grant permission.
- If companies do not obtain this authorization, they may no longer use chromium trioxide, regardless of the economic consequences for these companies.
- Authorization must be issued to at least one member in the supply chain.
- At the moment, there is no available industrial process that can make a surface that can substitute for a chromium surface.
Our opinion is that the gravure printing industry will need the chromium process and the associated production steps for many years to come. This position was also presented on March 7, 2012 by Christoph Gschossmann, CEO of K.Walter, at the joint meeting of the ERA technical commissions in Dusseldorf. He also requested a statement from the ERA and its members. ERA members agreed that K.Walter represent the gravure printing industry in the consortium, in which all necessary papers, measurements and dossiers for the request for authorization from ECHA will be developed. By vote, it was decided to support K. Walter in the procurement and preparation of the necessary data for the dossier and the preparation of the proposals for the future airborn limits.
Our view is that the chromium-plating process in gravure printing is much more advanced and safe than in comparable industries in regard to environmental and work safety. There is a high probability of obtaining authorization if we describe the specific uses in gravure printing with the existing plant technology and work them into the authorization dossier.
K.Walter will take an active part in the authorization process on behalf of the entire gravure printing industry. This is the only way we can be sure of getting the latest information at all times and optimally protecting the interests of the gravure printing industry.
We will keep you up-to-date on all pertinent information in the helioscope newsletter (www.heliograph-holding.com)and at www.kwalter.de.
If you have questions on this very complex issue, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.