Helsinki, Finland - The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has recommended that seven chemical substances of very high concern, which are all used in products to which consumers and workers are exposed, should not be used without specific authorisation, a 2 June statement has warned.
Three of the substances are classified as toxic to reproduction; one as carcinogenic and three are considered persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and bioaccumulative (vPvB).
From its list of 15 candidate substances, ECHA prioritised the seven substances based on their hazardous properties, the volumes used and the likelihood of exposure to humans or the environment. A public consultation was held earlier in the year to hear the comments of interest parties, the ECHA said.
"I see this first science-based recommendation of substances for authorisation as an important milestone," said ECHA executive director, Geert Dancet. "The protection of human health and the environment is at the heart of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) and submitting the use of these seven problematic substances to authorisation moves us one step closer to that goal," Dancet added.
The final decision on the inclusion of the seven substances on the Authorisation List will be taken by the European Commission, the statement said. The substances are as follows:
• 4,4`-diaminodiphenylmethane - MDA (carcinogenic), a hardener which is used in epoxy resins and adhesives;
• short chained chlorinated paraffins - SCCPs (PBT and vPvB), used as flame retardant and/or plasticiser in polymer uses;
• hexabromocyclododecane - HBCDD (PBT). a flame retardant used in polystyrene;
• bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate - DEHP (Toxic for reproduction), a plasticiser used in PVC and other polymers;
• benzylbutylphthalate - BBP (Toxic for reproduction), another plasticiser for plastics;
• dibutylphthalate - DBP (Toxic for reproduction), a specialist polymer plasticiser;
• musk xylene (vPvB), a fragrance enhancer used in detergents. (RD)