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15 Chemicals May Get SVHC Tag from European Chemicals Agency

The agency has published proposals to identify the group as Substances of Very High Concern because of their carcinogenic, mutagenic, and/or reprotoxic properties and potentially serious effects on human health, or for persistent, bioaccumulative environmental effects. Comments to ECHA are due by Oct. 15.

Europe continues to work on classifying chemicals substances under the REACH program, with the Helsinki-based European Chemicals Agency starting two consultations Sept. 9-10 to harmonize the classification and labeling of the additive flame retardant Tris[2-chloro-1-(chloromethyl)ethyl] phosphate (TDCP) and the solvent Tetrahydrofuran as category 3 carcinogens and the insecticide Abamectin as category 3 for reproductive toxicity, as requested by Ireland, France, and the Netherlands, respectively. ECHA, which manages the registration, evaluation, authorization, and restriction processes for chemical substances to ensure consistency across the European Union, also has to identify the group as Substances of Very High Concern because of their carcinogenic, mutagenic, and/or reprotoxic properties and potentially serious effects on human health.

The substances are: Anthracene oil, paste, different CASs, Coal tar pitch, high temperature, Acrylamide, Refractory Ceramic Fibres, 2,4-Dinitrotoluene, Diisobutyl phthalate, Lead chromate, Lead chromate molybdate, sulphate red (C.I. Pigment Red 104), Lead sulfochromate yellow (C.I. Pigment Yellow 34, Tris(2- chloroethyl)phosphate. Nine of the 15 are proposed to be identified as SVHCs because of their carcinogenic, mutagenic and/or reprotoxic properties, and thus potentially serious effects on human health. Five substances are proposed to be identified as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic and as very persistent and very bioaccumulative, having potentially serious negative effects on the environment. One substance is proposed because it is considered to fit both categories.

Comments are due by Oct. 15 on the 15 substances. Comments should focus on the chemicals’ hazardous properties; and uses, exposures, and availability of safer alternative substances or techniques, although those aspects will mainly be considered at the next stage of the process, which will include a new round of public consultation, according to ECHA. If ECHA’s Member State Committee unanimously agrees with the proposed identification as SVHC, ECHA will place them on the Candidate List, which already contains 15 chemicals. Substances appearing on that list may eventually be included in the Authorization List; after a transition period, they could be used only if a specific authorization is granted.

A NIOSH document listing exposure recommendations on refractory ceramic fibers is available here, and the Refractory Ceramic Fibers Coalition’s document listing general handling practices for refractory ceramic fibers for hearth products and applications is here.

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