Helsinki - Two chemicals encountered in the polyurethanes sector - tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP) and 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) - are to be listed as subject to authorisation under the European REACH (Registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals regulations), according to a 3 Dec statement from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
This process, a key element in Europe's REACH regulations (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), means that the materials cannot be placed on the market or used after a date to be set (the so-called 'sunset date'), unless the company is granted an authorisation.
The two are among an initial list of eight so-called Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) which the ECHA says should be subject to authorisation: di-isobutylphthalate (DIBP), diarsenic trioxide, diarsenic pentaoxide, lead chromate, lead sulfochromate yellow (C.I. Pigment Yellow 34), lead chromate molybdate sulphate red (C.I. Pigment Red 104), tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP) and 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT).
The Member State Committee (MSC), which oversees the programme, also agreed with ECHA that there are no grounds to recommend exemptions from Authorisation for these substances.
A further eight SVHCs will also be added to the Candidate List and may thus become subject to authorisation, the ECHA statement continued.
They are: chromium trioxide, acids generated from chromium trioxide and their oligomers, cobalt(II) sulphate, cobalt(II) dinitrate, cobalt(II) carbonate, and cobalt(II) diacetate, as well as 2-methoxyethanol and 2-ethoxyethanol, which are either carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic (CMR) substances.
The MSC also gave a favourable opinion on ECHA's draft recommendation for adding these eight new substances to the Authorisation List.
In a final point in the ECHA statement, it says the MSC came unanimously to the conclusion that currently it is not possible to identify the three isomers of trichlorbenzene as 'PBT-like' substances under Article 57 (f) of REACH.
The Committee was of the opinion that, based on the information available, it cannot conclude that the trichlorbenzene isomers can be identified as substances for which there is scientific evidence of probable serious effects to human health or the environment which gives rise to an equivalent level of concern to substances fulfilling the SVHC criteria set out in Article 57.
ECHA will take the MSC opinion into account when finalising its recommendation for Annex XIV which will then be transmitted to the Commission, the statement added.
The MSC agreements and other supporting documentation for the eight SVHCs will be published on the ECHA website soon. The documents referring to the three trichlorobenzene isomers, where the MSC agreed that it was not possible to conclude that they are SVHCs, will also be published, the ECHA statement concluded.