| Project objectives:
Several materials are used for the distribution of drinking water to the consumer. Compounds that were used to produce these 'construction products in contact
with drinking water' (CPDW) can be released into the drinking water, drunken by the consumer and cause adverse health effects. CPDW are related to the implementation
of the Construction Product Directive and the Drinking Water Directive. CPDW are subject to approval by National Schemes. This creates various approval criteria
among the Member States and barriers to trade. To overcome these two problems these up of a European Approval Scheme (EAS) for CPDW was initiated by EnterpriseDG.
Before the EAS can become operative the Regulators Group on CPDW defined four test methods that must be developed and harmonised (potential to promote microbial
growth, cyto-/genotoxicity, screening for unsuspected compounds by GC-MS and potential to form disinfectant by-products) which is described in this proposal.
A number of Member States (MSs) operate national acceptance schemes (NASs) for products and/or materials used in contact with drinking water. These schemes
involve testing of materials and products and/or the assessment of evidence for product acceptability, which may include recognition of test results from
The objective of all NASs is to ensure that products used in contact with drinking water do not cause a significant risk to consumers' health, or cause unacceptable
effects on drinking water quality, such as tastes and odours. Testing involves tests in which the product is exposed to water under controlled conditions.
The test waters are then analysed to establish whether unacceptable levels of substances are leaching from the product or if adverse effects on water quality
have developed. The decision to accept or refuse use of the product is made by reference to acceptance criteria and acceptance levels that have been established
for each test parameter.
The test requirements, acceptance criteria and acceptance levels vary among the NASs. These different technical requirements constitute barriers to
trade because MSs demand to re-test products that have already been accepted in another MS in the European Union (EU). In the framework of the Construction Products
Directive (CPD) these obstacles are eliminated by harmonisation of product specifications (including references to European test methods), common attestation
of conformity systems and approximation of the national regulatory provisions. The proposed European Acceptance Scheme (EAS) for construction products
in contact with drinking water (CPDW) shall allow MSs to fulfil their obligations under the Drinking Water Directive (DWD), without creating new obstacles
by approximation of the relevant regulations in the Member States. The EAS will allow manufacturers, the water industry and the consumers to benefit from the
effects of the Single Market. The EAS will replace NASs and provide a consistent, European basis for assessing the products. Products receiving a favourable
assessment under the EAS will carry the CE marking with a specific EAS logo (CE-EAS).
In June 1998, the proposals from the Directorate General III (now DG Enterprise) to establish an informal group comprising the regulatory representatives
from France, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom were approved unanimously by the SCC. The countries selected represented a sample of MSs with well-established
NASs. This group was asked to conduct a study of the feasibility of harmonising their respective NASs. This study, conducted between September 1998 and March
1999, led to agreement on the outlines of a common acceptance scheme (the 4 MS-AS Prototype). The Regulators Group for Construction Products in contact with
Drinking Water (RG-CPDW) was subsequently established as a working group of both the SCC and the Standing Committee on Drinking Water (SCDW).
The aim of the RG-CPDW, which held its first meeting in June 1999, is to establish an EAS, using the 4 MS-AS Prototype as a starting point and following recommendations
of the SCC and the SCDW. The tasks of the RG-CPDW, as approved by the SCC (consultation document CONSTRUCT 99/344), are:
* Identification of all EAS issues to be dealt with.
* Preparation of the draft mandate to CEN for the preparation of the test methods to be included in the EAS and for harmonised European product standards (hENs)
to cover CPDW as far as possible. In particular, the structure of the EAS, and of the European Standards (ENs) and European Technical Approvals (ETAs) will have
to be clearly defined before the technical specification writers could carry out their work.
* Identification of the fields in which further European research.
* Preparation of the EAS acceptance criteria and acceptance levels.
* Development of the outline of the EAS Positive Lists and the EAS Composition Lists.
* Preparation of guidelines defining (1) the respective tasks to be carried out at European and national levels, (2) how the EAS will operate at European level,
(3) the contacts with the Scientific Committees and (4) reduced assessment products (RAPs).
* Preparation of draft Commission Decisions to establish and implement the EAS.
The RG-CPDW comprises regulatory representatives and scientific experts appointed by MSs and representatives from relevant DGs of the EC. Representatives
from CEN, EOTA and trade organisations, including EUREAU, attend meetings as observers.