Helsinki, Finland - ECHA (the European Chemicals Agency) has added 14 new chemicals to the candidate list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs).
These chemicals are the 15 ECHA listed in November 2009 for future inclusion in this list, with the exception of acrylamide, whose inclusion has been suspended pending a ruling by the president of the General Court of the European Union.
The 14 candidate SVHCs include tris (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (TCEP), a flame retardant which has been used in polyurethanes and is used in other polymers, and 2,4-dinitrotoluene, an intermediate in the production of TDI (toluene diisocyanate).
TCEP has been largely phased out in the polyurethane foam sector, in expectation of this type of ruling.
Meanwhile DNT is an intermediate material formed in the manufacture of TDI. ECHA describes DNT as a material used in the production of TDI, but according to Wolfram Frank secretary general of ISOPA, the European diisocyanate and polyol producers' association, for its members DNT is a "strictly controlled" intermediate. As such it is not subject to authorisation, ISOPA notes.
TDI manufacture begins with nitration of toluene using nitric acid, giving DNT. This is catalytically hydrogenated to form toluene diamine, which is dissolved in an inert solvent and phosgenated to form crude TDI.
Decisions on the need to subject these substances to authorisation will be taken later, ECHA's13 January statement said.
For the full list visit: http://echa.europa.eu/news/press_en.asp (EPW)