CEPE: “Requirements that some of our members are finding difficult to meet
What are your plans for your term of office?
Dr Harald Borgholte: In my new position, I would like to continue the work of my predecessors and to develop the association into an even stronger representative of the coatings industry. I want to further tighten the links between the national associations and CEPE. One particular focus will be boosting younger associations in important EU Member States, such as Poland, by providing active support.
Which of the challenges facing the European coatings industry do you consider the most serious?
Dr Harald Borgholte
Borgholte: As the umbrella organisation for the European coatings industry, it is our task to ensure that our members’ concerns are heard. The countless regulations in the EU are spawning requirements that some of our members are finding difficult to meet. The debate surrounding titanium dioxide is particularly challenging. Any classification of this substance as “possibly carcinogenic to humans by means of inhalation” would have far-reaching consequences. Yet, Ti02 only occurs in dust form during the production process, where it is added as a pigment and is then bound afterwards. Thus, the end product does not contain any Ti02 dust that can be inhaled.
Another issue is the biocides regulation. The use of biocides is only permitted after a complex procedure that complies with the European Biocidal Products Ordinance. As a result, we are seeing a decline in the number of substances used to protect against mould and bacterial growth in water-borne paints. We must make authorities aware of the need to adopt a holistic approach to this issue, because biocides have numerous positive properties for the public and ensure that paints are properly preserved.
Due to the European harmonisation of notifications to the poisons information centres, we expect that the formulation of paints and inks will become subject to complex registration processes. These pose considerable challenges, especially for small and medium-sized paints and coatings producers with their many thousands of recipes. We must ensure that the individual Member States do not stray from the new formats and principles.