News

ECHA Committees support 16 uses of substances of very high concern

ECHA/NA/14/41

The Committee opinions are based on eight applications for 16 specific uses.

Helsinki, 17 September 2014 – ECHA's Committees for Risk Assessment (RAC) and Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC) have issued opinions in support of authorising the use of substances of very high concern (SVHCs). The opinions are based on eight applications for 16 specific uses from companies in which they gave reasons for continuing use of the substance. They also described their plans to replace the SVHCs with safer alternatives in the future.  Geert Dancet, ECHA Executive Director, states: "These opinions represent another step forward in the process of authorising the use of SVHCs. They demonstrate that, where companies can show that there is no alternative to their use, they can achieve certainty for continuing their business in the medium term. The process is now clearly working well."  

RAC also adopted its opinion on a proposal to restrict the use of cadmium and its compounds in paints. SEAC reached agreement on that same proposal to restrict the use of cadmium as well as a proposal to restrict the use of 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP). SEAC also adopted an opinion on the restriction proposal on nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates.

Applications for authorisation

The following draft opinions will be sent to the applicants for their comments before they are finalised by the Committees.

Substance

No. of applications (applicants)

No. of uses

Uses applied for

Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)

3 (3)

7

  • Formulation of DEHP in compounds, dry-blends and Plastisol formulations.
  • Industrial use in polymer processing  to produce PVC articles Industrial use of DEHP in ceramic sheets and printing pastes for production of capacitors and lambda sensor elements.
     

Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)

(in recyclate)

1 (3)

2

  • Formulation of recycled soft PVC containing DEHP in compounds and dry-blends Industrial use of recycled soft PVC containing DEHP in polymer processing  to produce PVC articles.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)

1 (1)

3

  • Use of DBP as an absorption solvent in a closed system in the manufacture of maleic anhydride.
  • Use of DBP in propellants.
    Formulation and industrial use of DBP- in the manufacture of ammunition for military and civilian uses, and pyrocartridges for aircraft ejection seat safety systems. No direct consumer use of DBP or its mixtures is covered by this use.
  • Industrial use of DBP in ceramic sheets and printing pastes for production of capacitors and lambda sensor elements.

Diarsenic trioxide

3 (3)

4

  • Use of diarsenic trioxide in the purification of metal impurities from the leaching solution in the zinc electrowinning process.
  • Industrial use of diarsenic trioxide to produce a copper concentrate in the purification of the leaching solution in a zinc electrowinning process.
  • Formulation of diarsenic trioxide into a mixture.
  • Industrial use of diarsenic trioxide as processing aid in gold electroplating.

Total

8 (10)

16

 

 

Restriction proposal on cadmium and its compounds in paints

RAC adopted its opinion and SEAC agreed on a draft opinion in support of the ECHA proposal to restrict cadmium and its compounds in paints. The proposed restriction is an amendment to an existing restriction (entry 23 in the Annex XVII of REACH). In the current entry, only "use" is restricted and there is no concentration limit. The reason for the amendment is that "use" could be interpreted to mean intentional use only, thus the restriction might be understood as not covering potential cadmium impurities. Secondly, as the current entry does not provide a limit value for cadmium in those paints, the enforcement of the restriction is challenging. The main benefits from the proposal would come via improved clarity of the restriction and improved effectiveness of any enforcement activities.

The 60-day public consultation on the SEAC draft opinion was launched on 17 September. SEAC plans to adopt its final opinion by December 2014. 

Restriction proposal on 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP)

SEAC agreed on a draft opinion on the Dutch proposal to restrict the manufacturing and use of NMP. SEAC concluded that the proposed restriction, adjusted by RAC in line with their opinion of June 2014, is the most appropriate EU wide measure to address the identified risks in terms of cost-effectiveness. According to the opinions of RAC and SEAC, manufacturers, importers and downstream users of NMP on its own or in mixtures in a concentration equal or greater than 0.3% shall use a long-term Derived No Effect Level (DNEL) of 10 mg/m³ for inhalation and 4.8 mg/kg/day for dermal exposure in their chemical safety assessments and safety data sheets for workers.

The 60-day public consultation on the SEAC draft opinion was launched on 17 September. SEAC plans to adopt its final opinion by December 2014.

Restriction proposal on nonylphenol and nonylphenol ethoxylates in textiles

SEAC adopted by consensus its final opinion on the Swedish proposal to restrict nonylphenols/nonylphenol ethoxylates in textile articles, or textile parts of articles, that can be washed in water. SEAC confirmed its draft opinion of June 2014 that the proposed restriction is justified and not disproportionate, provided that the scope and conditions are modified as stated in the RAC opinion. Having considered the two comments received during the public consultation on the draft opinion agreed in June 2014, SEAC did not introduce any changes to its opinion.