Helsinki -- The European Commission has included MDA (methylene diamine) along with three phthalates in its first list of substances that are subject to authorisation.
Without authorisation, use of the six substances must end after a specified "sunset date".
ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency, says that companies can now start preparing their applications for authorisation.
According to REACH, the aim of the authorisation process is to ensure good functioning of the internal market, while assuring that risks from substances of very high concern (SVHCs) are properly controlled.
The aim is that these substances are "progressively replaced by suitable alternatives that are economically and technically viable," said ECHA, in a 21 Feb statement.
ECHA also points out that companies can get authorisation for a substance on the list only for specific uses and for a certain period of time, although they can be renewed.
Companies applying for authorisation need to include a Chemical Safety Report which addresses the risks from the use of the substance. The company must also provide an analysis of alternatives and - if suitable alternatives are available - a plan describing when and how the substance will be substituted.
Applicants can also include "an analysis of the socio-economic impact of using the substance," says ECHA.
The six substances are:
• 5-tert-butyl-2,4,6-trinitro-m-xylene (musk xylene, classified as vPvB.
• 4,4'-Diaminodiphenylmethane, classified as Carcinogenic (category 1B).
• Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), classified as PBT4.
• Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), classified as toxic for reproduction (category 1B), as are the other two phthalates.
• Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP).
• Dibutyl phthalate (DBP).
For the first two, the latest application date is 21 Feb 2013, and the sunset date is 21 Aug 2014. For HBCDD, the latest application date is 21 Feb 2014, and the sunset date is 21 Aug 2015. For the thee phthalates, the latest application date is 21 Feb 2013, and the sunset date is 21 Aug 2015.