Cadmium standards in spectacle frames remain unchanged (Press Release)

February 2013

PRESS RELEASE – Cadmium standards in spectacle frames remain unchanged (pdf) 

In 2012 the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) launched a consultation on the use of cadmium in metal spectacle frames that do not fall within the scope of the REACH provisions. ECOO was invited to submit a response to contribute to this investigation.

In its response, ECOO members stated that Cadmium is not widely used in the production of frames, however there are some known trace elements which have never adversely impacted on patients. Furthermore, it was generally believed that there is insufficient evidence of harm to justify an outright ban on the use of cadmium in the production of metal and acetate frames.

The ECHA report “Cadmium in Spectacle Frames”, which has now been published confirms this view. The report concludes that there was no indication “that there would be a risk related to cadmium in the metal parts of frames” and further restrictions would be disproportionate to the cost which would result from more stringent testing regimes.

Mark Nevin, speaking on behalf of ECOO said “We welcome the conclusions in this report and would like to commend the collaborative approach the ECHA has taken in preparing this report”.

The Chair of the ECOO Public Affairs and Economic Committee, Per Michael Larsen added “We had some concerns that unnecessary additional testing would drive up the costs of frames in particular for patients on low income and are very pleased to see the conclusions of the report”.

Notes to editors

The full report “Cadmium in Spectacle Frames”

For further information on ECOO’s response and position please contact the Secretariat:

Fabienne Eckert
Rue Montoyer 51, box 7
B-1000 Brussels
T +32 (0)2 739 16 15
F +32 (0)2 737 95 01

About ECOO:

The European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) is the European umbrella organisation which represents the interests of more than 75,000 optometrists and opticians from 27 European countries.