For the May/June edition of its magazine, Pitture e Vernici – European Coatings interviewed José Mosquera (IFF), MCEC Chairman, on the European Commission’s OSOA (One Substance, One Assessment) principle and what it means for Microbial Control.

The concept of OSOA was developed in the context of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability to streamline and harmonise the current legal framework and seek further alignment between the European institutions. Currently, risk assessment and risk management of the same chemical is carried out at different times for different uses by different bodies, under different legislation, often using different data and potentially leading to seemingly different outcomes. The Commission’s OSOA principle, when implemented, is intended to prevent such overlaps.

The institutions are aware of existing overlaps in the risk assessment of chemicals, including active ingredients used in microbial control applications. These substances are sometimes regulated by multiple pieces of legislation and assessed by several institutions, for their different uses: the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) under ECHA, and the Plant Protection Products Regulation (PPPR) under EFSA, just to name a few.

MCEC is in full support of the proposed harmonisation: “For MCEC, it is crucial for the regulators to ensure consistency between different pieces of legislation, in order to advance innovations”, José Mosquera explained.

The sector group continues to monitor changes in EU legislation. José Mosquera highlighted that “Our [Microbial Control] sector understands the importance of transitioning towards more sustainable products and processes and has been making investments in this regard”.

The current regulatory system is not keeping the pace with innovation, and this is proving a barrier to the introduction of green chemistry-based preservatives. If coherence across the different instruments of chemicals management can be improved in the manner imagined by OSOA, this would be a significant step towards the creation of a regulatory system that successfully enables the introduction of green alternatives.