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Author: Subject: EU Survey on Chemical Restrictions – Stop further chemical bans
FRTZKNG
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[*] posted on 25-1-2023 at 14:18
EU Survey on Chemical Restrictions – Stop further chemical bans


The EU Commission is conducting a feedback survey on the regulation of trade with so called "high risk chemicals" until February 20, 2023. Depending on the results of this survey, EU lawmakers may impose new restrictions on even more chemicals. So far, only six people voted on this survey.

The new restrictions may affect the following groups of chemicals: cyanides, phosphides, sulfides and hypochlorites (including other chemicals capable of "evolving halogens" such as TCCA, hypobromites and so on). Especially a ban of hypochlorites would be of utmost concern for amateur chemists.

I don't know if it would help to accomplish anything, but the least the Chemistry community in the EU can do is to take this survey and have them take the overwhelmingly negative feedback into account, to make it clear that restricting access to basic chemicals is not helping in terrorism prevention. The least we can do is try.

Therefore, I beg as many of you to fill out this survey. It should take around 10 to 20 minutes – and maybe do something against the unintentional prosecution of amateur chemists doing legitimate science at home.

The survey is also asking for feedback on restrictions already in effect, e.g. on the notorious sulfuric and nitric acid ban. You can upload a position paper further explaining your opinion and presumably make additional demands. I propose the following:

To either
- increase the maximum concentration at which you can obtain sulfuric acid and nitric acid with a permit to 100% and make it mandatory for all EU members to give out these permits (My home country of Germany explicitly does not issue those permits under any circumstances)
- exempt small quantities, e.g. 1 to 2 litres, from this ban; because these small quantities are not sufficient to produce anything at scale which would be useful to trigger an explosion)
- lift the restrictions in place all together; because they do not provide an increase in national security sufficient enough to justify the serious restriction of citizen science and thus the right to academic freedom.

I want to gather more opinions on this and take them into account in a position paper, which I will submit together with my survey on February 19th.

Links (available in all 24 EU languages):

English
Deutsch
Français
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Español
Português
Nederlands
Gaeilge
Polski
Lietuvių
Latviešu
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Slovenčina
Slovenščina
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Edit: deleted old links

[Edited on 25-1-2023 by FRTZKNG]

[Edited on 25-1-2023 by FRTZKNG]




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blogfast25
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[*] posted on 25-1-2023 at 14:57


Quote: Originally posted by FRTZKNG  
.

I don't know if it would help to accomplish anything, but the least the Chemistry community in the EU can do is to take this survey and have them take the overwhelmingly negative feedback into account, to make it clear that restricting access to basic chemicals is not helping in terrorism prevention. The least we can do is try.



Effective terrorism prevention would start with changing our FP towards certain parts of the world. But as long as the EU/UK slavishly follow the US that won't happen.

I'm UK, not EU, so can't honestly complete the survey. Thanks for sharing it though!




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[*] posted on 25-1-2023 at 23:29


I don't live in the EU, so I can't fill out the survey. In your position paper, are you planning to include some justification for the desirability of amateur science? I suspect that when the EU lawmakers hear "amateur chemistry" they'll think "drug lab" or "terrorist," since those are usually the only home labs that make it into the news. They might realise that restricting access to these chemicals probably won't do much to deter terrorism or drug manufacturing, but they might think that even a small effect is worth pursuing, given that they probably don't think that amateur chemistry is an activity worth preserving.

To prove that amateur chemistry is valuable, the wikipedia page for amateur chemistry has a fairly good list of notable people who worked with it, including several Nobel prize winners, computer pioneers, and early chemists.
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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 01:32


I will make a video about this. Hopefully many will fill out that survey. I am tired of politicians turning Europe into a sh*thole by banning even more chemicals without real reasons.
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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 01:45


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  


Effective terrorism prevention would start with changing our FP towards certain parts of the world.

Our what?


Anyway, This is an English language forum so many/ most of the Europeans here aren't in the EU (any more).

But I hope that the message is spread to other chemistry fora across the EU.
The UK still has to pay attention to the EU- they just not longer get the chance to influence it. (This was called "taking back control").
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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 02:55


Thanks for that. I’ll prepare a submission of my own.
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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 07:49


Quote: Originally posted by sceptic  
I don't live in the EU, so I can't fill out the survey. In your position paper, are you planning to include some justification for the desirability of amateur science? I suspect that when the EU lawmakers hear "amateur chemistry" they'll think "drug lab" or "terrorist," since those are usually the only home labs that make it into the news. They might realise that restricting access to these chemicals probably won't do much to deter terrorism or drug manufacturing, but they might think that even a small effect is worth pursuing, given that they probably don't think that amateur chemistry is an activity worth preserving.

To prove that amateur chemistry is valuable, the wikipedia page for amateur chemistry has a fairly good list of notable people who worked with it, including several Nobel prize winners, computer pioneers, and early chemists.



I will definitely take this into account. The whole point is that amateur chemistry isn't just drugs and terrorism. That there is a legitimate use for chemistry and especially that these proclaimed risks do not outweigh any legitimate uses. Because, that would be like proclaiming that legitimate uses of flour, e.g. baking, are banned due to the risk of misusing flour to create dust explosions. Which would sound absolutely asinine. But this is the level of reasoning we're talking here with the EU legislators.

Also, at least in Germany, someone who really wants to use those chemicals in large quantities with malicious intent, could just open a business and thus circumvent the entire legislation. So can any amateur chemist, but proper storage equipment that passes security checks is expensive.

[Edited on 26-1-2023 by FRTZKNG]
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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 08:22


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  

Our what?




FP = foreign policy




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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 08:39


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  

The UK still has to pay attention to the EU- they just not longer get the chance to influence it. (This was called "taking back control").

They're not obliged to enact EU legislation, though.




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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 08:54


Quote: Originally posted by sceptic  
hey might realise that restricting access to these chemicals probably won't do much to deter terrorism or drug manufacturing, but they might think that even a small effect is worth pursuing, given that they probably don't think that amateur chemistry is an activity worth preserving.

To prove that amateur chemistry is valuable, the wikipedia page for amateur chemistry has a fairly good list of notable people who worked with it, including several Nobel prize winners, computer pioneers, and early chemists.


All true.

In addition I think wondering about the world and universe should really be a universal human right, not tinkered with by petty and ignorant bureaucrats, wherever and whoever they are.

I've been doing this marvelling and wondering since I was about 14, first in a corner of my dad's garage that he had assigned to me.


[Edited on 26-1-2023 by blogfast25]




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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 09:00


Where could we find more information about the proposed regulations? I looked at the links you gave, and did a search on the EU website, but I wasn't able to find any details about the proposal. In particular, I couldn't find a page that listed chemicals that would be affected.
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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 09:26


Quote: Originally posted by Lionel Spanner  

They're not obliged to enact EU legislation, though.


So laws regarding restriction of chemicals enacted by the EU BEFORE Brexit will now be repealed by the UK, right? No, I didn't think so.

Recently imposed draconian restrictions in the UK on H2SO4 and HNO3 simply follow the EU lead too.




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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 10:29


Quote: Originally posted by Lionel Spanner  

They're not obliged to enact EU legislation, though.


On a sidenote, we're *still* not allowed liquid in aircrafts because of a bogus alert, with terrorists didnt have a plan or a target and nowadays the chemicals they were supposed to use are even harder to get for the general public.

FFS, detonating H2O2 and Tang powder...
We're not allowed liquids because of that !




The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant. - Ira Remsen
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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 10:34


Quote: Originally posted by sceptic  
Where could we find more information about the proposed regulations? I looked at the links you gave, and did a search on the EU website, but I wasn't able to find any details about the proposal. In particular, I couldn't find a page that listed chemicals that would be affected.


Presumably on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.'
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[*] posted on 26-1-2023 at 10:45


Quote: Originally posted by Herr Haber  
Quote: Originally posted by Lionel Spanner  

They're not obliged to enact EU legislation, though.


On a sidenote, we're *still* not allowed liquid in aircrafts because of a bogus alert, with terrorists didnt have a plan or a target and nowadays the chemicals they were supposed to use are even harder to get for the general public.

FFS, detonating H2O2 and Tang powder...
We're not allowed liquids because of that !


It's relatively easy to bring in new legislation but much harder to get rid of obsolete laws. What legislator would take a chance with banning the ban on (passenger) liquids on board of planes?




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[*] posted on 28-1-2023 at 13:54


Quote: Originally posted by FRTZKNG  
The EU
Therefore, I beg as many of you to fill out this survey. It should take around 10 to 20 minutes – and maybe do something against the unintentional prosecution of amateur chemists doing legitimate science at home.


I may have miscalculated the time it takes to complete this survey. It should take around 40 minutes to an hour; if you take more than 60 minutes the vote may not be valid. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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[*] posted on 28-1-2023 at 14:06


Quote: Originally posted by sceptic  
Where could we find more information about the proposed regulations? I looked at the links you gave, and did a search on the EU website, but I wasn't able to find any details about the proposal. In particular, I couldn't find a page that listed chemicals that would be affected.


I couldn't find too much information either, but I'll have a look into it. The listed substances affected are:
  • Cyanides
  • Phosphides
  • Sulfides
  • Hypochlorites (or similar compounds capable of easily evolving halogens).


Seeing how the infamous "Explosive Precursors" list is structured, even possession may become illegal; with the former three being off-limits to private individuals. I don't know how they'd deal with FeS, which is easily produced from Fe and S8, and is regularly used in labs to generate H2S on demand. Cyanides and phosphides don't see regular use in home chemistry, for the better, as with these, things can go wrong very quickly if you don't know what you're doing. Obtaining these is already hard for a good reason.

Hypochlorite is in a lot of cleaning products and pool disinfectants; so completely outlawing its sale to ordinary customers is very unlikely. (Though while the rest of the world uses 90+ per cent H2SO4 as a drain cleaner, we do not; but in the case of OCl there aren't many viable alternatives)
They may however restrict the concentration of NaOCl sold to private customers, down to percentages where you'd be dealing with a burdensome amount of water during syntheses.

I assume the reason for this proposed restriction is to prevent any kind of guerrilla chemical warfare, despite there being no major instances of such a thing happening in the EU, that I am aware of. Please refer to the Wikipedia article on 'Moral Panic' for further explanation of the reasoning behind such proposals. Even the Tokyo subway attacks in the 90s were carried out with Sarin, something no one in their right mind would synthesize, never mind being able to buy the specialty precursors for. And those who don't have a right mind won't care about some stupid EU law anyways.

[Edited on 28-1-2023 by FRTZKNG]
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[*] posted on 28-1-2023 at 16:04


Quote: Originally posted by FRTZKNG  
Please refer to the Wikipedia article on 'Moral Panic' for further explanation of the reasoning behind such proposals.


Yeah, that and 'politicians wanting to be seen "doing the right thing"'! :mad::o:(

For backyard scientists, additional risks will now have to be incurred for synthesising must-haves like H2SO4 and HNO3...

[Edited on 29-1-2023 by blogfast25]




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[*] posted on 29-1-2023 at 21:24



I'd just like to point out that non-EU citizens are allowed to submit comments, and 20% of the submissions are from outside the EU.

As with the airport body scanners, this is not and never was about safety (the first director of DHS, Michael Chertoff, represented the scanner manufacturer and had a financial interest in their mandated sales). I'd go further and disagree that it's about moral panic and foreign policy, which is not to say that Western foreign policy doesn't cause the majority of conflict in the world, rather it is about absolute control, about stifling creativity, curiosity and self-directed education, and ultimately about completely disarming the population and neutering their ability to mount any form of resistance to tyranny.

Okay, now, everyone take out your safety pencil and a circle of paper and let your displeasure be known.
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[*] posted on 30-1-2023 at 02:20


Quote: Originally posted by blogfast25  

Recently imposed draconian restrictions in the UK on H2SO4 and HNO3 simply follow the EU lead too.


May be true for nitric acid, but the ban of sulfuric acid was a farewell gift from UK.
See point 3. in http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=23212&...

Both documents are not available anymore....

Would not be the first time, that governments are playing the game indirectly (in Deutsch "über Bande spielen")

bj68
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[*] posted on 30-1-2023 at 07:26


Quote: Originally posted by BJ68  


May be true for nitric acid, but the ban of sulfuric acid was a farewell gift from UK.
See point 3. in http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=23212&...

Both documents are not available anymore....

Would not be the first time, that governments are playing the game indirectly (in Deutsch "über Bande spielen")

bj68


The ban on H2SO4 is now less than 20% (about 2 M).

It will turn all drugs makers into distillers, of course... :(;)

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[Edited on 30-1-2023 by blogfast25]




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