The Board of Appeal of the European Chemicals Agency has allowed an appeal by producers of aluminium salts against decisions requiring them to carry out animal testing.
In a conjoined appeal, registrants of aluminium sulphate, aluminium chloride and aluminium chloride basic challenged three decisions taken by ECHA under the substance evaluation provisions of the REACH Regulation. WR Grace, a leading US-based chemicals corporation with a substantial EU presence, intervened in the appeal, arguing that the additional in vivo tests requested by ECHA were unnecessary in circumstances where existing scientific data on chemically similar substances could be ‘read across’ to the three salts in question.
Following a contested oral hearing in Helsinki, the Board of Appeal allowed the appeal in full and annulled the requests for additional testing. In particular, the Board upheld the arguments of WR Grace in their entirety, finding that the proposed ‘read-across’ from existing scientific data had been wrongly rejected by ECHA; and that the published data on similar substances, properly interpreted, supported the conclusion that ECHA had failed to demonstrate a sufficient risk to justify further testing. The Board’s decision provides important clarification on the circumstances in which it will be appropriate to read across data from one substance to another.
The Board of Appeal’s decision is available here.
David Scannell and Andrew McIntyre represented the Intervener, WR Grace. Andrew McIntyre appeared for WR Grace at the Board of Appeal hearing in Helsinki.