EU Chemicals Agency Publishes First List Of Substances to Be Evaluated for Risks

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Key Provision: ECHA publishes a preliminary list of 91 substances for priority risk evaluation under REACH.

What's Next: ECHA aims to finalize the list by the end of February. Each substance will be allocated to an EU member state body for evaluation.

By Stephen Gardner

BRUSSELS—The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Oct. 21 published a preliminary list of 91 hazardous substances for priority risk evaluation under the European Union’s REACH law.

ECHA said the substances have been prioritized because they are suspected of being persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic, or of having endocrine disrupting or carcinogenic properties. The substances are also likely to have “wide dispersive or consumer uses,” ECHA said.

The substances were selected from dossiers submitted to ECHA by Nov. 30, 2010, the first registration deadline under REACH (Regulation No. 1907/2006 on the registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals). The November 2010 deadline applied to chemicals manufactured in, or imported into, the European Union in annual volumes of 1,000 metric tons or more, and to some hazardous substances at lower volumes.

Each substance will be allocated for evaluation to an EU member state authority.

ECHA said the objective is “clarification” of risks. Evaluations could result in requests for more information from registrants or, ultimately, measures to limit the use of certain substances.

However, a substance evaluation may conclude that “the substance does not constitute a risk and no further data is needed,” ECHA said.

Evaluation under REACH is a separate process from authorization, under which the most hazardous substances are added to a candidate list for potential bans, unless permission for a specific continued use is given.

ECHA said it will discuss the preliminary list of 91 substances with the responsible institutions in EU member states and with the ECHA Member State Committee.

ECHA said its aim is to finalize the evaluation list, known under REACH as the Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP), by the end of February 2012.

Evaluations will be done by EU countries in the period 2012-2014, ECHA said.

By Stephen Gardner


Information about the REACH Community Rolling Action Plan and a link to the list of 91 substances are available at http://www.echa.europa.eu/reach/evaluation/corap_en.asp.