The European Union’s Official Journal will today publish the first list of ’prioritised’ harmful chemicals that must pass through REACH’s strict authorisation process.
This first priority list (sometime called the working list, or in REACH jargon, the Annex XIV list) has 6 chemicals which were selected eighteen months ago from the list of ’Substances of Very High Concern’ (the Candidate List) as it was back then.
The six chemicals on the priority list are:
Musk xylene, a very persistent & bioaccumulative chemical
MDA, a carcinogen
Phthalates DEHP, BBP and DBP, toxic to reproduction
Flame retardant HBCDD, a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemical
The companies using these chemicals must apply for an Authorisation for specific uses by a certain deadline. After the application deadline, there is a subsequent deadline, by which all uses of the chemical will be banned unless the company has been given an authorisation or the authorisation process has not yet been finished for particular uses. Both these application and end of use or ’sunset’ deadlines are set out in the priority list.
|Substance name||Application deadline||Use deadline/ban|
|Musk Xylene||February 2013||August 2014|
|MDA||February 2013||August 2014|
|dibutyl phthalate DBP||August 2013||February 2015|
|benzyl butyl phthalate BBP||August 2013||February 2015|
|Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate DEHP||August 2013||February 2015|
|hexabromocyclododecane||February 2014||August 2015|
More details on each of the chemicals can be found here
This list of priority chemicals is the same list the European Chemicals Agency recommended to the European Commission back in June 2009, see here . That recommendation was then held up due to internal differences of opinion in the Commission about details relating to the REACH authorisation process. The differences concerned whether companies must always submit a substitution plan with their authorisation application, or only do so in certain cases. Those differences were resolved under a political agreement by the Enterprise and Environment Commissioners in March 2010. The details were then laid down in a final Authorisation ’guidance document’, which explains in detail how companies must apply for an authorisation, and compile an assessment of alternatives (obligatory), and a substitution plan (only in some cases). This authorisation document was officially published at the end of January this year (2011), which cleared the way for publication of the first priority list.
The selection of further priority chemicals, drawn from the Candidate List, will continue on a regular basis as the Candidate List grows.
Written on 18 February 2011.