ECHA Committees raise concern over persistent and toxic chemical in clay targets


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ECHA’s scientific committees raise serious concerns over industry’s applications to continue using coal tar pitch, high temperature (CTPHTin the manufacture of clay targets.

Helsinki, 14 December 2020 – Clay targets or clay pigeons are breakable targets used in sports shooting. CTPHT contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which break down slowly in the environment, build up in humans and animals and are toxic (PBT/vPvB). They may also cause cancer.

The Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) estimated that continued use of CTPHT in clay targets will pollute our environment each year with several hundred tonnes of PAHs. There are also health risks to people through the environment, for example through food. Moreover, there are alternatives available to using CTPHT in clay targets.

Because of these reasons, the committees raised substantial concerns over the use of CTPHT in clay targets in their opinions – adopted in the December meetings. The Commission will take these opinions into consideration when preparing its decision – in consultation with Member States – whether to grant or refuse the authorisation.

ECHA is investigating the need to prepare a restriction proposal to address the risks of CTPHT in products, particularly clay targets, that are placed on the market or imported into the EU.


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