EU: ECHA Adds New Substances of Very High Concern, Updates BPA Entry

Published January 17, 2018

​On Monday, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) added seven new substances to its Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) for Authorization. ECHA’s website states that chrysene and benz[a]anthracene, two substances that normally occur as a constituent or impurity in other substances, have been added to the Candidate List due to their carcinogenic properties. Three other substances—cadmium nitrate, cadmium hydroxide, and cadmium carbonate—were included on the list based on their carcinogenic and mutagenic properties, as well as target organ toxicity after repeated exposure. Cadmium nitrate is used in the manufacture of glass, porcelain, and ceramic products, while cadmium hydroxide is used for the manufacture of electrical, electronic, and optical equipment; both substances are used in laboratory chemicals. Cadmium carbonate is used as a pH regulator and is found in water treatment products, laboratory chemicals, cosmetics, and personal care products. The non-plasticizing flame retardant known as “Dechlorane Plus” has been added to the Candidate List due to its “very persistent and very bioaccumulative” properties. Lastly, reaction products of 1,3,4-thiadiazolidine-2,5-dithione, formaldehyde, and 4-heptylphenol, used as lubricant additives in lubricants and greases, are newly included based on their endocrine-disrupting properties.

In addition, ECHA has updated its entry for bisphenol A (BPA) to include an additional reason for its inclusion on the list: its endocrine-disrupting properties that can cause “adverse effects to the environment.”

The Candidate List now contains 181 substances. Identifying a substance as an SVHC and including it in the Candidate List is the first step of the authorization procedure under the EU’s Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. SVHCs are substances that may have serious and often irreversible effects on human health and the environment.