Propanoic acid, cadmium salt, basic


List details

Basic info

Status Commission decided
Details on the scope of restriction Artist paints
Reason for restriction Cadmium sulfoselenide and cadmium zinc sulphide are used as bright yellow to deep red pigments in artists paint. By rinsing brushes in the sink, cadmium may enter the waste water treatment plants and end up in the sludge. When the sludge is spread on agricultural land, growing crops absorbs the cadmium and consequently this will lead to an increased exposure to humans via food. EU has since 1988 had a common aim to substitute the use of cadmium as far as possible. This aim has resulted into, amongst others, the restriction entry 23 in REACH, Annex XVII for cadmium and its compound. Regarding the use of cadmium in paints, the restriction is limited to the TARIC Codes [3208] [3209]. Artist paints (TARIC Code 3213) are hence not included in these regulations. The general population in Europe is exposed to levels of cadmium that, already today, may cause effects on kidney and bone for a significant part of the population. The EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain has expressed concern that the margin between the average weekly intake of cadmium from food by the general population and the health-based guidance values is too small (EFSA 2009). The EFSA Panel estimated that the mean exposure for adults across Europe is close to, or slightly exceeding, the Tolerable Weekly Intake TWI of 2.5 μg/kg bw. Subgroups such as vegetarians, children, smokers and people living in highly contaminated areas may exceed the TWI by about two-fold. The Panel states that the risk for adverse effects on kidney function at an individual level at dietary exposures across Europe is very low. The overall conclusion is however that the exposure at the population level is considered to be of high concern, and should therefore be reduced. Moreover, more recent research has pointed out osteoporosis as a serious effect of cadmium exposure which may occur at even lower exposure levels compared to the kidney effects. It may be argued that the cadmium compounds used in artist paints would not be bioavailable due to its low solubility. Therefore, Swedish Chemicals Agency ordered a review with the aim to describe the solubility and availability of a number of cadmium-containing substances used in paints. The author of this review came to the conclusion that cadmium containing sulphides and selenides in pigments, would be unstable in the surface horizon of agricultural soils, based on the redox conditions prevailing in Swedish soils (Gustafsson 2012). It is hence likely that, within a time frame of a couple of years to several decades, cadmium from pigments has a similar solubility and bioavailability as an easily soluble cadmium salt such as cadmium chloride. Colours imitating cadmium already exist at least for the consumer uses. In some industrial uses the substitution might however be more problematic. The extent of a restriction thus needs to be further investigated.

Intention timeline

Date of intention 2013-06-27
Expected date of submission 2014-01-17
Latest update 2018-12-21

Support information

Restriction report and annexes
Remarks Scope of REST updated: removed "and pigments for enamel, ceramics and glasses". The Reasons for restriction field has also been updated.

Related substances

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Record history

The following timeline shows when we detected changes of this regulatory record (the date might slightly differ from the date of the actual change). Additions between versions are hightlighted in green color, red color shows data removed between versions.

This version
Feb. 18, 2019
  • Latest update: 2019-02-072018-12-21
Feb. 8, 2019
  • Latest update: 2018-12-212019-02-07
  • Restriction report and annexes:
  • Status: SubmittedCommission decided
  • Submitter: Sweden
Jan. 3, 2019
  • Latest update: 2018-12-182018-12-21
Dec. 18, 2018
  • Latest update: 2018-02-282018-12-18
  • Restriction report and annexes:
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