Four more substances will be added to the REACH candidate list in January after Echa's Member State Committee unanimously agreed they should be designated as SVHCs. This will bring the total number of substances on the list to 173.
The highest profile of the four is bisphenol A, which was proposed by France and will be added because of its toxic to reproduction properties. The other three are:
- the perfluorinated chemical PFDA (nonadecafluorodecanoic acid) and its sodium and ammonium salts. These were proposed by Sweden, due to their toxic for reproduction and persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) properties. According to research by ChemSec, they have been used as plasticiser, lubricant, surfactant, wetting agent and corrosion inhibitor. They have also been detected in various water and stain resistant textiles.
- 4-heptylphenol, branched and linear (4-HPbl). This was proposed by Austria, due to their endocrine-disrupting properties for the environment. According to Echa's website, it has not been registered in the EU yet. Indications from safety data sheets, says the website, point to uses in scientific research and development. The substance phenol, heptyl derivatives is registered as a monomer. Uses of the resulting polymers include in lubricants and greases in vehicles or machinery.
- 4-tert-pentylphenol (PTAP). Proposed by Germany, due to its endocrine-disrupting properties for the environment. According to the German authorities' justification document for making PTAP subject to substance evaluation under REACH, it is used in the production of phenolic resins and lacquers. It is also used in the production of ethoxylated resins, some of which are used in oilfield applications. Other use categories are cleaning/washing agents, surface active agents and paints. Also use in consumer products are given: adhesive, sealants, coatings and paints, thinners and paint removers.
A majority of committee members agreed that two other substances should be added to the candidate list but failed to reach unanimous agreement, and so Echa will submit the committee's Opinions and the minority positions to the European Commission. It will have three months to prepare draft proposals for their inclusion and take a final decision in conjunction with the REACH Committee of member state officials. The two substances are:
- 4-tert-butylphenol (PTBP), also proposed by Germany, is an endocrine disruptor. According to the Annex XV dossier proposal, information in the registration dossiers says it is mainly used in the phenolic/epoxy resin industry and is only used as an intermediate in polymers. There are no downstream uses of the substance itself or in preparations within the EU.
- trimellitic anhydride (TMA), proposed by the Netherlands, is a respiratory sensitiser. According to the authorities' justification document, it is mainly used in the synthesis of plasticisers for PVC resins, while smaller amounts are used as a reactant in wire and cable insulation enamels and polyester resins for powder coatings.
None of the committee's Opinions had been published on Echa's website at the time of publication.