Possible action for 290 chemicals

26th April 2021

Possible action for 290 chemicals

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has issued its third report on its Integrated Regulatory Strategy. The conclusion was that 290 of the 1,900 registered chemicals the agency assessed last year “may be candidates for further regulatory risk management at EU level if their hazards are confirmed”. More data needs to be generated before any actions can be taken.

The number of chemicals ECHA assessed in 2020 was twice as many as in 2019 and ten times higher than that screened annually in prior years. This is because the agency is now addressing groups of structurally similar substances instead of each one individually.

The Integrated Regulatory Strategy, ECHA says, “aims to accelerate data generation, identification of groups of substances of concern and regulatory action” by “providing a set-up where different regulatory processes can be coherently, effectively and efficiently used”. The long-term goal is to clarify which registered substances are high and low priorities for regulatory risk management or data generation by 2027.

Separately, ECHA has announced that 8,000+ UK-based REACH registrations have been successfully transferred to companies in the EU, EEA or Northern Ireland, as required because of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The 2,964 that were not transferred are now legally void and are marked as ‘revoked’ on ECHA’s database and website.

“Safety information may need to be reviewed and updated, and administrative information, such as the company’s role in the supply chain, may also need to be revised by the new registrant,” the agency said. Registrants have up to three months to update administrative information or up to six, nine or 12 months for more complex updates.

Earlier, ECHA prioritised seven substances of very high concern (SVHCs) from the Candidate List and recommended that the European Commission add them to the REACH Authorisation List. All seven are hazardous, produced in high volumes and widely used.

Among them are three siloxanes, D4, D5 and D6, which are deemed harmful for the environment because they are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic and/or very persistent and very bioaccumulative. Some uses of these are already restricted or in the process of being restricted in consumer products and in most professional uses under REACH.

The heat transfer fluid hydrogenated terphenyl was recommended for Authorisation because it is deemed harmful to the environment, while three more were recommended because of human health effects: the plasticiser dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP), which is reprotoxic and has endocrine-disrupting properties; disodium octaborate (also reprotoxic); and trimellitic anhydride (respiratory sensitising properties).

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