July 18, 2019

Substances with Endocrine-Disrupting Properties Identified as "High Concern" in EU

On Tuesday, the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, announced that four new substances have been added to its Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHC) for authorization. ECHA’s website explains that the chemicals 4-tert-butylphenol and tris(4-nonylphenyl, branched and linear) phosphite, or TNPP, were added to the list because of the substances’ endocrine-disrupting properties. Another substance, 2-methoxyethyl acetate, was identified as an SVHC due to its toxicity to reproduction. The fourth substance, 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy)propionic acid, was included because it likely causes serious effects to human health and the environment.

According to ECHA, TNPP is primarily used as an antioxidant to stabilize polymers. The agency states that 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy)propionic acid is used as a processing aid in the production of fluorinated polymers, and 4-tert-butylphenol is used in coating products, polymers, adhesives, and sealants. 2-Methoxyethyl acetate is not yet registered under REACH, the EU’s regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals.

The Candidate List now contains 201 substances. 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.