The Beryllium Science and Technology Association (BeST) represents the suppliers of beryllium to the EU market and industries who rely on the unique properties of beryllium to design for miniaturisation, energy conservation, greater reliability and longer product life.
Members of our association are directly impacted by EU chemicals legislation, such as REACH and RoHS, and have first-hand experience with the benefits that these pieces of legislation bring, as well as regulatory inconsistencies and lack of coordination in implementation between them.
BeST is committed to sound, scientifically-based policy-making that effectively promotes and protects the safe use of beryllium in the EU. On this basis, we regularly engage with European policy makers to ensure that the EU institutions take well-balanced and reasoned decisions on issues that affect the beryllium industry.
BeST IN THE EU
REACH is the European flagship legislation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006).
REACH has two primary aims: to ensure the protection of human health and the environment and to provide a legislative basis for the circulation of substances in the EU’s internal market while enhancing competitiveness and innovation.
REACH requires industry, instead of public authorities, to assess and manage risks posed by chemicals and provide safety information.
Beryllium is in full compliance with the regulation and is not restricted under REACH. Beryllium is also not considered a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC).
RoHS is the EU's directive providing for the Restriction of the use of Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment (Directive 2011/65/EU).
RoHS aims to reduce the amount of potentially dangerous chemicals found and processed in electrical and electronic waste through recycling or substitution.
Following a substance review in 2020, beryllium was not recommended to be included on the list of hazardous substances (RoHS Annex II). A final report is due to be published later this year.
The EU's Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008) determines whether a chemical substance may pose danger and how it must be labelled within the EU.
Beryllium and beryllium oxide (BeO) have been classified as Carcinogens 1B. This is because those who work directly with beryllium may contract berylliosis following the inhalation of airborne particles. Beryllium does not pose risk to those outside of a manufacturing setting.
The EU's Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (Directive 2004/37/EC) aims to protect workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens in the workplace.
As beryllium has been classified as a Carcinogen 1B, it is included on the CMD list.
In 2019, the CMD was revised to lower the occupational exposure limit (OEL) of some substances, including beryllium. Until 11 July 2021, the OEL for beryllium may remain at a safe level determined by individual EU Member States (average: 2000 ng/m3). Between 11 July 2021 and 11 July 2026, the limit will be lowered to 600 ng/m3. Thereafter, the OEL will be limited to 200 ng/m3 over an eight-hour time period.
BeST is committed to taking a proactive approach to worker safety. To learn how to protect workers from beryllium exposure, see our Voluntary Product Stewardship Program.
The EU established the European Chemicals Agency to manage the technical and administrative aspects of implementing REACH and to provide knowledge on the sustainable management of chemicals.
To access ECHA's information on beryllium, please click here.