Paint containing MEKO at ≥ 0.1% cannot be sold to the general public after the 1st March 2022

nullMarket Surveillance of Chemicals Inspectors from the Health and Safety Authority have noticed that a large volume of paint containing MEKO currently on the shelves in Irish retail stores. Suppliers and retailers are reminded that paint containing MEKO cannot be sold to the general public after 1st March 2022 and, therefore, they now need to take action to ensure that such products will be removed from general retail sale in store and online by this date.

Butanone oxime (MEKO), commonly used in paints as an anti-skinning agent, was reclassified as a carcinogen 1B H350 (May cause cancer) in 2020 under the CLP Regulation. This means that paints containing MEKO at a concentration ≥ 0.1% must be re-classified and re-labelled by 1st March this year, noting that products may be voluntarily reclassified and re-labelled ahead of that date. Furthermore, as MEKO is now classified as a carcinogen, it will not be permitted for general sale from 1st March 2022, as it will be a restricted substance under the REACH Regulation.

Consequently, any paint containing ≥ 0.1% MEKO cannot be sold to the general public, unless certain derogations apply. There will also be a requirement to relabel these paints, with the updated classification and to include the statement ‘Restricted to professional users’.  

In practice, this means that any stock of paint containing ≥ 0.1% MEKO can continue to be sold only to professional users (trade only) and only where the paints are relabelled with the correct hazard information and the statement provided above. These paints should be placed behind the trade only counter at retail outlets and/or a system put place to restrict sale to professional users only. Paint containing MEKO cannot be sold to the general public under any circumstances after 1st March 2022. 

Irish companies affected by this, especially paint manufacturers and retailers, are advised to put measures in place without delay to ensure compliance with these provisions before the 1st March 2022 deadline.