8 SVHC recommended to the Authorization list
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has recommended to the European Commission (EC) the addition of 8 SVHC (Substance of Very High Concern) to the authorization list (Annex XIV) of REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals). The objective of this inclusion is to eventually ban the use of these substances in Europe by encouraging industry to seek safer alternatives.
This 11th recommendation, concerns in particular lead. Here are the 8 candidate substances recommended by ECHA:
6 substances toxic to reproduction:
- 2-(4-tertbutylbenzyl)propionaldehyde and its individual stereoisomers - REACH registered substance: use as fragrance in washing and cleaning products, air treatment products, waxes and varnishes
- Lead - REACH registered substance: see next section
- 2-methyl-1-(4-methyl thiophenyl)-2-morpho linopropan-1-one - REACH registered substance: use as a photoinitiator in coatings, inks and adhesives
- 2-benzyl-2-dimethylamino4'-morpholinobutyrophenone - REACH registered substance: use as a photoinitiator in coatings, inks and adhesives
- Diisohexyl phthalate - substance not registered in REACH
- Orthoboric acid, sodium salt - substance not registered in REACH
2 respiratory sensitizers :
- Ethylenediamine - REACH registered substance: use as treatment agents, corrosion inhibitors, treatment additives, , use in control of odour emissions
- Glutaral - REACH registered substance: use in leather tanning, X-ray film, developer, corrosion inhibitor, cross-linking agent and auxiliary for polymerization reactions
If this proposal is accepted by the EC, companies using these substances will have to obtain authorization to continue using them.
Reminder: the purpose of the authorization list is to promote the substitution of substances of very high concern, where technically and economically feasible, in order to limit risks to human health and the environment.
ECHA's recommendation process
Based on the comments received during the public consultations and taking into account the opinion of the Member State Committee, ECHA is legally obliged to recommend to the EC the inclusion of substances from the candidate list in the authorization list.
The final decision on inclusion is taken by the Commission. The Commission also selects the conditions that apply to each substance.
For a substance, inclusion on the authorization list means that it can no longer be placed on the EEA (European Economic Area) market, or that it can only be used (after a specified date) after obtaining a temporary authorization for specific uses of the substance.
Use of lead
Lead is used in sectors such as art, batteries, health sector, munitions, cables, electronics, construction, vehicles, etc. Currently, a volume in excess of 10,000 tonnes/year of lead could be subject to authorization in the above-mentioned sectors.
The draft recommendation published on February 2, 2022, concerning the inclusion of lead had already given rise to a great deal of discussion in ECHA's Member State Committees.
ECHA's Director of Prioritization and Integration, Ofelia Bercaru, announced that "this recommendation places lead metal at the same regulatory stage as other lead compounds with similar uses that have already been recommended for inclusion in the authorization list. We are aware of the challenges and consider that the balance between the risks posed by lead to workers and the environment and its continued use requires a political decision by the Commission and EU member states".
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