EU Chemicals Agency Lists 38 Substances As Possibly Subject to Bans Under REACH


Source: BNA

By Stephen Gardner

BRUSSELS—The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Aug. 17 listed 38 chemicals as potential “substances of very high concern” (SVHC), meaning they could be banned or have limitations placed on their use under the European Union's REACH  legislation.

The substances were added to a “registry of intentions” for SVHC status. ECHA spokesman Mikko Väänänen told BNA that their status as SVHCs would probably be confirmed by the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, by the end of August, and a public consultation would open on Sept. 3.

Adding substances to the registry of intentions is a preliminary stage in the process of banning the most hazardous chemicals under REACH (Regulation No. 1907/2006 on the registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals), and “facilitates timely preparation of the interested parties for commenting later in the process,” according to ECHA.

The 38 substances have been added to the registry of intentions on the basis that they are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic.

The listed substances include several compounds of lead, industrial chemicals such as diethyl sulfate, solvents such as 1-bromopropane, and pesticides such as dinoseb.

Consultation Awaited
If the public consultation on listing the chemicals as SVHCs raises no objections, the substances would bring the number of chemicals on an ECHA “candidate list” for bans under REACH to 122.

The substances could be formally added to the candidate list by the end of 2012, Väänänen said.

The European Commission in 2010 established a nonbinding target to have 136 substances listed on the candidate list by the end of 2012, but ECHA conceded in early 2012 that this target was unlikely to be met (23 DER A-2, 2/6/12).

Potential SVHCs can be put forward either by ECHA or by authorities in EU member states. The 38 substances listed as potential SVHCs Aug. 17 were put forward by ECHA.

Väänänen said ECHA and member state experts had identified the 38 substances from screenings of carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic substances that have been registered under REACH.

“ECHA plans to continue this kind of work although our focus will shift more to trying to identify ‘new’ [persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic] or [very persistent and very bioaccumulative] substances, or substances that might fulfil the [REACH] criteria for being of equivalent concern to [carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic substances] or [persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic substances],” Väänänen said.

For More Information
The ECHA registry of intentions is available at

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