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Echa proposes 11 substances for authorisation list

Organisation - Echa - HQ © European Chemicals Agency

Echa has launched a public consultation, until 17 February, on a draft recommendation to add a further 11 substances to REACH Annex XIV – the list of chemicals subject to the authorisation process.

The agency is seeking comments on whether the substances should be a priority for authorisation, their uses, possible exemptions and the proposed application and phase-out deadlines.

As with the agency’s previous draft recommendations, its Member State Committee will produce its opinion on the draft, taking into account the consultation responses. Echa will then draw up its final recommendation and submit it to the European Commission.

The latter will then decide which of the substances to add to Annex XIV and what the conditions will be for each substance, including the sunset date. The production and use of those added to the annex will be prohibited after the sunset date – except for any uses granted authorisation.

The draft recommendation is Echa’s seventh. However, its fifth and sixth final recommendations have been held up by the Commission, while it focuses on revising the authorisation process – prompting concern for Echa and among some member states (CW 9 July 2015).

There are 163 substances on the candidate list, of which 31 have so far been added to Annex XIV.

The 11 substances, included in the draft seventh recommendation, are:

  • the respiratory sensitisers, HHPA and MHHPA, which are used as hardeners in epoxy resins. Their designation as SVHCs remains subject to a legal challenge (CW 22 September 2015);
  • the boron compounds, sodium perborate and “perboric acid, sodium salt and sodium peroxometaborate”. These are used in detergents and bleaches and are toxic for reproduction category 1B;
  • the lead compounds, orange lead (lead tetroxide), lead monoxide (lead oxide), tetralead trioxide sulphate and pentalead tetraoxide sulphate, which are used to make batteries and rubber. These are classified as category 1A reprotoxins;
  • trixylyl phosphate. This is used in lubricants, hydraulic fluids and plastics production, and is toxic for reproduction 1B; and
  • two plasticisers used in PVC - dihexyl phthalate and 1,2-benzenedicarboxylic acid, dihexyl ester, branched and linear” 1B reprotoxins.

The draft recommendation says the deadline, by which the last authorisation applications should be submitted, should be between 18 and 24 months, depending on the substance. For all 11, the proposed sunset [phase-out] date is 18 months after the application deadline. 

In parallel, the Commission is seeking information on the possible socio-economic consequences of including the substances in the authorisation list. Echa will pass this on to the Commission and it will not be considered by the agency in the recommendation process.

Geraint Roberts

 

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