Dunlop Conveyor Belting position regarding REACH compliance
Dunlop Conveyor Belting (Fenner Dunlop BV) fully supports the objectives of REACH, which are very much in accordance with our own commitment to the health & safety of our employees, our customers and to the good of the environment by ensuring responsible production, use and handling of the products that we manufacture.
Chief Operating Officer, Fenner Dunlop BV
Who does REACH apply to?
Manufacturers. REACH legislation applies to all European-based manufacturers and compels those manufacturers to register their use of “substances of very high concern” that are listed within the regulations with ECHA (European Chemical Agency) headquarters in Helsinki.
WARNING: Manufacturers established outside of the EU are not bound by the obligations if REACH, even if they export their products into the customs territory of the European Union. They are therefore free to use unregulated raw materials and chemicals that may be prohibited or at least have strict usage limitations within the European community.
Importers. The responsibility for fulfilling the requirements of REACH lies with the importers established in the European Union, or with the only representative of a non-EU manufacturer established in the European Union rather than the original manufacturers.
IMPORTANT NOTE: all of our belts are exclusively made in our production facility in Drachten, the Netherlands.
How does REACH work?
Manufacturing companies must register the substances they use and manufacture with ECHA, which receives and evaluates individual registrations for their compliance. The EU Member States evaluate selected substances to clarify initial concerns for human health or for the environment. REACH places the burden of proof on companies. To comply with the regulation, companies must identify and manage the risks linked to the substances they manufacture and market in the EU. They have to demonstrate to ECHA how the substance can be safely used, and they must communicate the risk management measures to the users.
There are two primary areas of potential risk relating to users of rubber conveyor belting.
Human. Firstly, the risks that may be posed to those who physically work with conveyor belts and therefore come into regular with rubber that may contain unacceptable levels of potentially harmful chemicals, some of which are believed to cause various forms of cancer. This especially includes conveyor maintenance operatives and the vulcanizers who fit and splice belting.
Environment. The use of hazardous chemicals in the production of rubber conveyor belts also poses a threat to the environment itself including wildlife., which is why they are also subject to the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Regulation in the European Union (EU). It is virtually impossible to regulate and control the disposal of used belting. However, the potential damage to the environment caused by the harmful, damaging element of the used conveyor belts can be minimized by the application of REACH regulation, both in the long and short term.
The application of basic safety precautions for those working with conveyor belts is a must. Firstly, it is advisable to wear gloves when handling belts. A mask should always be worn by anyone involved in actions that may cause rubber dust to be produced (such as grinding during the preparation of splice joints for example) to prevent inhalation of dust particles. Washing your hands thoroughly before eating, drinking or smoking is also very important.
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