Essential Laboratory Use of Ozone Depleting Substances

With the exception of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), ozone depleting substances (ODS) can be used for essential laboratory and analytical uses, under a special exemption. However, there are restrictions that apply.

In particular, any laboratory wishing to use ODS for essential laboratory and analytical uses must register on a special database (Laboratory ODS Database) provided and maintained by the European Commission, indicating the substance to be used, the purpose, the estimated annual consumption and the suppliers of those substances. Suppliers (distributors) of ODS for essential laboratory and analytical uses must also register on the Commission's Laboratory ODS Database, where they buy ODS from or sell ODS to undertakings located in the European Union.

The following definitions will help to clarify whether a particular use may clarify as essential laboratory or analytical use:

Analytical Use - any use of ODS for the identification of compounds or the determination of the proportions of components in a mixture, for example the use of ODS as reference material.

Laboratory Use - any use of ODS in a laboratory that is not an analytical use, for example laboratory feedstock uses or uses of ODS in a  toxicological study.

Laboratory Feedstock Use - the use of ODS in a laboratory in a chemical synthesis process where the ODS is a reagent in the chemical transformation and is chemically converted from its original composition. This is different from cases where an ODS is used as a solvent or catalyst.

The use of ODS for laboratory or analytical uses is only allowed if the use is essential. A use is considered essential only in those cases where there is no technically and economically feasible alternative or where the alternative is less acceptable from the perspective of environment and health.

There is no comprehensive list of allowed ODS uses for laboratories. However, the European Commission has published a non-exhaustive list in Regulation (EU) No. 291 of 2011.

Learn more

Register on the Commission's ODS-Laboratory-Database

Access the Commission's ODS webpages

Download the Commission's Guidance Manual for Laboratories and Suppliers of ODS for Laboratory and Analytical Uses 

Download a non-exhaustive list of essential laboratory and analytical uses