More progress under REACH: 13 more chemicals en route to the Authorization list

Allison Tracy is a Chemicals Policy Fellow.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the agency responsible for implementation of the EU’s REACH Regulation, posted a press release last week listing 13 chemicals it proposes to advance from its list of “Substances of Very High Concern” (SVHCs), also known as the Candidate List for Authorization, to its list of chemicals subject to Authorization, also known as Annex XIV.

Authorization is one of the main pillars of REACH, via which use of designated SVHCs is limited to those uses specifically authorized by EU authorities. Following the public consultation period that is now underway, some or all of the 13 chemicals will move to the Authorization list.  

Moving to the Authorization list is a big deal. Subjecting a chemical to Authorization means that companies seeking to continue to use a listed substance must seek specific authorization for each such use. Chemicals on the Authorization list are presumptively banned from use after a designated sunset date, which is typically 3 to 4 years from the time of the initial listing. Industry has a window of time to apply for Authorization of certain uses that may continue after the sunset date, but these uses must satisfy several criteria in order to become authorized uses (see our discussion of these criteria in a previous post). Stakeholders in chemical management systems around the globe are watching closely as Substances of Very High Concern progress on the path to Authorization under REACH.

The Authorization list on ECHA’s website indicates the hazardous properties that justify their placement on the list as well as the timeline for industry requests for Authorization and the sunset dates. The first six SVHCs were added to Annex XIV in February of this year and have sunset dates in 2014 and 2015. A second batch of eight SVHCs was proposed for addition to the list in December 2010, but final decisions have not yet been reached.

So, how relevant to the U.S. are the chemicals in this third batch of SVHCs?  We have determined that all but one of the 13 are listed on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory, and 10 of the 13 chemicals were reported in the 2006 cycle of EPA’s Inventory Update Reporting (IUR) as being in commerce in amounts exceeding 25,000 pounds per year per site of manufacture. Of these 10, all but one are high production volume (HPV) chemicals.  They were reported in 2006 to have been produced in or imported into the U.S. in the following amounts:

  • Five chemicals:  1-10 million pounds per year
  • One chemical:  10-50 million pounds per year
  • One chemical:   50-100 million pounds per year
  • Two chemicals:  100-500 million pounds per year

Eleven of the 13 SVHCs have been registered by the first registration deadline under REACH of December 1, 2010, and ECHA has posted registration dossiers for them. The table below presents the use information from REACH dossiers and the IUR for each chemical where available.

This latest development is evidence of the growing level of activity under REACH, whereby the EU is taking important steps to impose health-protective limitations on the use of especially hazardous chemicals aimed at reducing the risk they pose to human health and the environment.  These efforts stand in marked contrast to the situation in the U.S., where EPA is severely hobbled in its efforts to control dangerous chemical exposures due to the outmoded and ineffective Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  Given the broad reach of REACH, it means that the future of global chemicals management is increasingly being determined largely outside of the U.S.

ChemicalCAS #ClassificationREACH Use InformationIUR Use InformationREACH dossier2006 IUR
Ammonium dichromate7789-09-5ESIS*: May cause cancer. May cause heritable genetic damage. May impair fertility. May cause harm to the unborn child.Use as a laboratory reagent; use as an intermediateIndustrial function, product category and use in children’s products are not reportedYesYes: 10-50 million lbs/year
Chromic acid, Oligomers of chromic acid and dichromic acid, dichromic acid7738-94-5 and 13530-68-2ECHA Candidate list: CarcinogenicNoNo
Chromium trioxide1333-82-0ESIS: May cause cancer. May cause heritable genetic damage.Surface treatment, including e.g. functional & decorative electroplating, passivation, anodising, plastic plating; use as a laboratory chemical; formulation of products used, for example, in metal finishings or catalystsProduct category Variably reported as NRO and use in metal products; industrial function variably reported as NRO, Other, plating agent and metal surface treating agent, colorizing agent and pigment, oxidizing agent, processing aid, and intermediate; reported as not used in children’s productsYesYes: 50- 100 million lbs/year
Cobalt dichloride7646-79-9ESIS: May cause cancer by inhalation. May impair fertility.Formulation and industrial use as a water treatment chemical, oxygen scavenger, corrosion inhibitor; industrial use in surface treatment processes; use as an intermediate; manufacture of inorganic pigments & frits, glass, ceramic ware, varistors and magnets like calcination/sintering processes (metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors); industrial manufacture of textile dyes; use as an intermediateIndustrial function, product category and use in children’s products are not reportedYesYes: 1-10 million lbs/year
Cobalt(II) carbonate513-79-1ESIS: May cause cancer by inhalation. May impair fertility.Use as a catalyst; use as an intermediate; fertilizers or feed grade material; industrial use in surface treatment processes; manufacture of inorganic pigments & frits, glass, ceramic ware, varistors and magnets like calcination/sintering processes (metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors)Glass and ceramic products; industrial function reported as Other; reported as not used in children’s productsYesYes: 1-10 million lbs/year
Cobalt(II) diacetate71-48-7ESIS: May cause cancer by inhalation. May impair fertility.Intermediate for manufacture of catalysts; industrial use in feed grade materials; industrial use in surface treatment processes; manufacture of inorganic pigments & frits, glass, ceramic ware, varistors and magnets like calcination/sintering processes (metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors); manufacture and industrial use of rubber adhesion agent; use in plasticsProduct category variably reported as use in metal products, use in rubber and plastic products, and Other; industrial function variably reported as coloring agent, pigment, intermediate, processing aid, CBI and Other; reported as not used in children’s productsDHHS Household Products Database: Use in a chimney cleanerYesYes: 1-10 million lbs/year
Cobalt(II) dinitrate10141-05-6ESIS: May cause cancer by inhalation. May impair fertility.Intermediate for manufacture of catalysts; formulation and industrial use as water treatment chemical, oxygen scavenger, corrosion inhibitor; industrial use in surface treatment processes; battery manufacturing for computers, electronic and optical products, electrical equipmentIndustrial function, product category and use in children’s products are not reportedYesYes: 1-10 million lbs/year
Cobalt(II) sulphate10124-43-3ESIS: May cause cancer by inhalation. May impair fertility.Formulation and industrial use as water treatment chemical, oxygen scavenger, corrosion inhibitor; industrial use in surface treatment processes; manufacture of inorganic pigments & frits, glass, ceramic ware, varistors and magnets like calcination/sintering processes (metals, alloys, polymers, semiconductors); industrial manufacture of textile dyes; manufacture and industrial use of batteries for computers, electronic and optical products, electrical equipment; manufacture and industrial use of coatings and inks as a drier and/or pigment for coatings and paints, thinners, paint removers, ink and toners; use as an  intermediateProduct category and industrial function reported as Other; reported as not used in children’s productsYesYes: 1-10 million lbs/year
Potassium chromate7789-00-6ESIS: May cause cancer by inhalation. May cause heritable genetic damage.Use as a laboratory reagent; use in manufacturingYesNo
Potassium dichromate7778-50-9ESIS: May cause cancer. May cause heritable genetic damage. May impair fertility. May cause harm to the unborn child.Use as an intermediate in the industrial manufacture of metalsIndustrial function, product category and use in children’s products are not reportedYesYes: <500,000 lbs/year
Sodium chromate7775-11-3ESIS: May cause cancer. May cause heritable genetic damage. May impair fertility. May cause harm to the unborn child.Use as a laboratory reagent; use in manufacturingProduct category and use in children’s products are not reported; industrial function as an intermediateYesYes: 100-500 million lbs/year
Sodium dichromate7789-12-0ECHA Candidate list: Carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproductionNoNo
Trichloroethylene79-01-6ESIS: May cause cancer.Industrial solvent for degreasing; solvent in manufacture of other products; importation and storage; use as an intermediate; component of consumer products for professional use (Adhesives, sealants, coatings and paints, thinners, paint removers, ink and toners, leather tanning, dye, finishing, impregnation and care products, paper and board dye, finishing and impregnation products- including bleaches and other processing aids, textile dyes, finishing and impregnating products – including bleaches and other processing aids, washing and cleaning products-including solvent based products, extraction agents)Product category variably reported as adhesives and sealants; lubricants, greases and fuel additives; paints and coatings; Other; and NRO; Industrial function variably reported as use as an intermediate, solvents (which become part of product formulation or mixture); solvents (for cleaning and degreasing); adhesives and binding agents; NRO; and Other; Use in children’s products variably reported as NRO and not usedDHHS Household Products Database: Use in film cleaners, automotive brakes cleaners, rust removers, mirror edge sealantsYesYes: 100-500 million lbs/year

* To view the European Chemical Substances Information System (ESIS) data for a chemical, follow the link, select “CAS#” from the left pull-down menu, and enter the CAS number in the search box.

 

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