June 22, 2023

Substances Used in Inks and Toners, Production of Plastic Products Added to Hazardous Chemicals List

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced on June 14 the addition of two new hazardous chemicals to its Candidate List of substances of very high concern for authorization. The substances are diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide, a chemical with a variety of consumer uses including in inks and toners, coating products, photo-chemicals, polymers, adhesives and sealants, putties, and modeling clay; and bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulphone, which is used in the manufacture of plastic products, chemicals, and rubber products. Details about these substances—including hazard classification and labeling information and properties of concern—are available from “infocards” published by ECHA.

The agency’s infocard for diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide states that it is suspected to be toxic to reproduction and that a majority of companies that have submitted data to ECHA on the substance agree it is skin sensitizing. The second chemical, bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulphone (infocard), was identified as a substance of very high concern due to its very persistent and very bioaccumulative hazardous properties. PubChem, the open chemistry database of the National Institutes of Health, describes diphenyl(2,4,6-trimethylbenzoyl)phosphine oxide as being suspected of damaging fertility. The PubChem entry for bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulphone states that it may be harmful by ingestion or inhalation and may cause irritation. In addition, bis(4-chlorophenyl) sulphone “emits very toxic fumes of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, chlorine, sulfur oxides and hydrogen chloride gas” when it is heated to decomposition, PubChem notes.

The Candidate List now contains 235 substances. Identifying a chemical as a substance of very high concern and including it in the Candidate List is the first step of the authorization procedure under REACH, the European Union’s Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals.

For more information, see ECHA’s news release.