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Two more chemicals added to the REACH high concern list

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently decided to include two more substances or substance groups to the list of chemicals of very high concern (SVHC).

ECHA’s Member State Committee adopted the Swedish and Dutch proposals before a recent meeting in Helsinki which HEAL attended. The Candidate List, a list of substances that have serious effects on human health and/or the environment, now contains 163 substances since the official adoption process started in 2008.

The two additions include firstly, a series of mixed alkyl diesters, used as plasticisers and lubricants in adhesives, coatings, building material, polymer foils, PVC compounds and artist supplies such as modelling clay and finger paints. The second is a group entry for some very long-named substances that include karanal (trade name) which are very persistent and very bioaccumulative.

The Candidate list generates the ‘duty to inform’ obligations on employers, suppliers, manufacturers and retailers. Downstream companies, workers and consumers have the right to know of the presence of substances of high concern in what they purchase, or are handling. Consumers must request the information about the presence of SVHCs in products they have bought or are considering buying, and the retailers or manufacturers must respond within 45 days at no charge.

The Candidate list also contains all the chemicals that may be included the Authorisation List, to undergo the authorisation process. Currently out of the 163 chemicals / chemical groups on the Candidate list, ECHA has recommended 58 to the Authorisation, and the Commission and Member States have taken the final decision (in the REACH Standing Committee) to have 31 officially included. The prioritisation of SVHCs for the Authorisation list occurs once a year, and ECHA has just sent its 6th recommendation.

The inclusion in the candidate list also triggers further information obligations for industry and gives consumers the possibility to request information on these substances in articles. ECHA regularly prioritises the substances included in the Candidate List and recommends to the Commission their inclusion to the Authorisation List.

Once they are on the Authorisation List, industry will need permission to continue using the substance after the sunset date.

Further information

Originally posted on 13 July 2015

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