International Environment Reporter™ helps you understand environmental laws, regulations, policies and trends in major industrialized and developing nations, as well as in international governmental and nongovernmental organizations.
BRUSSELS--The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Oct. 23 proposed to add 63 suspected hazardous substances to a list of chemicals that will be assessed by regulatory authorities in EU member states in accordance with the REACH chemicals law (Regulation No. 1907/2006 on the registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals).
ECHA said there is “a suspicion that [the substances’] use could pose a risk to human health or the environment,” and in many cases the chemicals are thought to be persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic; carcinogenic, mutagenic, and reprotoxic; or to have endocrine-disrupting properties. Substances found to be in these categories can be considered “substances of very high concern” under REACH, and may be banned.
The uses of the 63 substances “cover various areas and are not limited to particular industrial, professional or consumer uses,” ECHA said.
ECHA added that the 63 substances had been identified “in close cooperation” with EU member state authorities, but that a decision to go ahead with the substance assessments would be formally made only after further consultation with member state experts. The formalities would likely be completed in March 2013, ECHA said.
The 63 substances would then be added to the so-called Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP), which allocates potentially hazardous substances to member state authorities for evaluation, and gives a likely year of evaluation for each one.
ECHA said the preliminary publication of the list will allow companies producing the substances to “start coordinating their actions and to have early interactions with the evaluating member states.”
The current CoRAP lists 90 substances for evaluation through 2014 (35 INER 230, 3/14/12).
Taking into account substances evaluated in 2012, and the additional 63 substances if approved, the updated CoRAP would include 116 chemicals, ECHA said. The updated CoRAP would cover 2013-2015.
By Stephen Gardner
The ECHA draft Community Rolling Action Plan update for 2013-2015 is available at http://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13628/draft_corap_2013-2015_en.pdf.
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