October 31, 2019

European Agency Prioritizes BPA, Other Chemicals under REACH

Earlier this month, the European Chemicals Agency recommended that 18 “substances of very high concern,” or SVHCs, be added to the Authorization List under REACH, the EU’s Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. According to ECHA, 13 of the recommended substances are toxic for reproduction, of which one—bisphenol A, or BPA—also has endocrine-disrupting properties. The other substances include an endocrine disruptor, a carcinogen, a “very persistent and very bioaccumulative” substance, and two respiratory sensitizers. The agency’s recommendation that these substances be prioritized from the Candidate List of SVHCs for Authorization is based on their intrinsic properties and widespread uses, “which may pose a threat to human health or the environment.”

“Some of these substances are currently not used in the EU but could replace other substances recommended for the [Authorization List],” ECHA’s press release states. “Their inclusion should avoid regrettable substitution.”

Identifying a substance as an SVHC and including it in the Candidate List is the first step of the authorization procedure under REACH. SVHCs are substances that may have serious effects on human health and the environment. According to ECHA, the authorization process is intended to ensure that SVHCs are “progressively replaced by less dangerous substances or technologies where technically and economically feasible alternatives are available.”

A list of the substances included in ECHA’s latest recommendation is available on the agency’s website (PDF). Further details are available in ECHA’s press release.