54 potential SVHCs on second consultation list

25 September 2012

On September 3, 2012, the second Substances of Very High Concerns (SVHC) consultation list of this year was published by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA). An unprecedented large update, including 54 proposals added for consultation for the identification of SVHC candidates, has been taken by ECHA in order to fulfill the public commitment made by European Commissioners of 136 substances on the SVHC candidate list by the end of 2012.

The consultation will last for 45 days until October 18, 2012 and interested parties can provide their comments regarding the identification, further information related to use, exposure, alternatives as well as the risk of the proposed substances within this period.

The 2012 second SVHC consultation list

The second SVHC consultation list in 2012 contains 54 substances, among which 17 substance dossiers were submitted by EU member states and the remaining 37 substances were proposed by ECHA by the end of August. The SVHC candidate list will expand to contain 138 substances in total if all 54 SVHCs are accepted. Deviating from the last SVHC candidate list update in June, the current SVHC consultation list has increasing focus on substances featuring PBT (persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic) properties and substances of equivalent level of concern (EQC). Following the first EQC (4-tert-octylphenol) inclusion on the SVHC candidate list on Dec 19 2011, six substances were proposed to the identification of SVHC based on equivalent level of concern this time. Furthermore, they are 4-tert-octylphenol ethoxylates, methoxy acetic acid, sensitizers hexahydro-2- benzofuran-1,3-dione and the related substances, in which methoxy acetic acid was also classified as Toxic to Reproduction category 1B.

Any article supplier to the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) shall provide safe use information to the recipients upon supply and consumer upon request within 45 days, when an article contains a SVHC in a concentration above 0.1% (w/w), in accordance with Article 33 of REACH. Notification is required by Article 7(2) of REACH when SVHC concentration >0.1% (w/w) in an article and the overall quantity in all articles is more than 1 tonne per year per producer or importer.

Possible occurrence in consumer products

21 of the 54 substances are lead containing organic or inorganic compounds, widely used in different industries. Some of the lead compounds, including trilead dioxide phosphonate, lead oxide sulphate, [phthalato(2-)]dioxotrilead, dioxobis(stearato)trilead, pentalead tetraoxide sulphate and sulfurous acid, lead salt, dibasic, are used as stabilizers in plastics production. Other lead compounds such as lead monoxide and tetraoxide are used in glass, ceramics, pigments, PVC processing and in lead-acid batteries. Besides lead containing compounds, another list of potential SVHCs comprise of the group of aromatic amines. For those eight aromatic amines and dibutyltin dichloride which may be used in textile and plastic were already controlled under REACH Annex XVII in EU.

Substance identities of 54 potential SVHCs published by ECHA on Sep 3 2012 are shown in the latest SGS SafeGuard bulletin.

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