ChromeXtend is an industry initiative by K.Walter to enable the gravure and embossing sector to continue using chromium(VI)/chromium trioxide in the long term beyond 2024.
The European Commission has still not reached a decision regarding the review period for CTAC, and no agreement is expected before April. Despite these circumstances, we are still assuming the CTAC authorization will end in September 2024.
Regardless of this, preparation of the dossier for the ChromeXtend authorization application is well underway. The fact that over 120 production sites in the EU are dependent on the continued authorization of chromium trioxide makes it clear how important the application is for gravure printing in the EU.
The high process reliability of gravure electroplating in general – and the low consumption of chromium trioxide during cylinder manufacturing in particular – demonstrate that a specific industry application such as ChromeXtend is the right solution to ensure the long-term use of chromium trioxide. For example, the some 180 metric tons of chromium trioxide used each year to produce 1.25 million gravure cylinders accounts for just 1.5 percent of the total amount of chromium trioxide imported into the EU.
To prepare the dossier, various data needs to be collected from gravure form manufacturers so as to provide an accurate picture of our sector and obtain the longest possible authorization period. The data requested includes information such as the chemical risks when using chromium trioxide and the expected economic consequences of banning this substance. Our partner Ramboll will collect this data using the SurveyXact platform, save it in an anonymized form, and pass on the aggregated results to K.Walter. The relevant companies will be receiving an invitation to participate in the survey directly from Ramboll on February 25, 2020. A number of videos are also being prepared to help answer the questions. In all our interests, we would ask for your active participation.
A further key date in this connection is March 19, 2020, when the ERA will be hosting an event at NH Hotel Bavaria in Munich and will join K.Walter in presenting the ChromeXtend application and the results of the survey. The potential best practice when using chromium trioxide is also to be clarified during a discussion to further improve the safety standards. Other planned items on the agenda include a presentation relating to the necessary workplace exposure measurements and a user report from Hansgrohe SE, which received authorization for decorative chromium plating one year ago and has passed the first safety review. To register for the symposium and for further details, go to the ERA website at https://era-eu.org/current-events/cta-chromium-trioxide-authorization-meeting/1340/
We will keep you up to date on how the application is progressing in this newsletter and at www.kwalter.de. Should you have any specific questions on this matter, you can also e-mail our project manager Dr. Julian Rotter at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.