European Regulation and Stainless Steel

Paper originally delivered at the BSSA Conference 'Stainless Solutions for a Sustainable Future' held in Rotherham on 3rd April 2003. This paper addresses European health and environmental regulation as it applies to stainless steel, and the threats posed to the markets for stainless steel. Mixtures, alloys and toxicity of materials are discussed and a list of EU Directives relevant to the use and application of stainless steels listed. These Directives include 76/769/EEC, the Jewellery (Jewelry) Directive, 2000/60/EEC and 98/83/EC, the EU drinking water Directives, 93/42/EEC covering medical devices and 2000/53/EC, the end-of-life vehicles Directive. Hazard classification is related to nickel content. Stainless steels are not however mixtures and so the risk classifications in relation to skin sensitisation and carcinogenic (cancer) effects are unjust. Risk phrases R43 and R40 still apply, however by European Dangerous Preparations Directive (67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC).

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