More azo dyes banned

16 February 2003

THE CHROMATE-BASED azo dye known popularly as 'navy blue' is to be banned from use throughout the 15 European Union countries from June 2004, the European Commission has announced. The dye, a mixture of disodium and trisodium, is one of the most widely used in the leather industry but the ban will come as little surprise given the growing weight of scientific evidence that it is poisonous to aquatic life, particularly fish. Brussels has already banned other azo-dyes under the EU's chemicals marketing and use directive adopted last year. The Commission said the ban, which does not require the approval of the European Parliament or the Council of Ministers before coming into effect, should spur industry into developing dyes which were less dangerous to the environment.

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