EU: Four New SVHC’s Added to REACH Candidate List
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) added four Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) to the REACH Candidate List on 16th July 2019. The Candidate List now consists of 201 substances and the Article 33 obligation to inform recipients of articles, if they contain >0.1% of an SVHC (and provide safe use information if necessary), applies immediately. The four additional SVHCs are:
- 2,3,3,3-Tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy) propanoic acid, its salts and its acyl halides (covering any of their individual isomers and combinations thereof) (No CAS or EC numbers are listed as this entry covers many different forms of this group of substances). These substances are used as processing aids in the production of fluorinated polymers, but should not occur in finished polymers at more than 0.1% by weight, so Article 33 disclosure should not be needed. ECHA has added many fluoro-chemicals to the Candidate List and most occur in articles only at very low concentrations. However, ECHA may decide that the next step is addition to Annex XIV (substances subject to authorization) or Annex XVII, (restrictions). For example, pentadecafluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was added to the Candidate List in June 2016 and will be restricted by Annex XVII from July 2020.
- 2-Methoxy ethyl acetate (EC 203-772-9, CAS 110-49-6). This substance is a widely used solvent that dissolves most natural and synthetic resins and is used in varnishes, enamels, inks, stains and nail polishes, but should not occur in articles. This will therefore become more of an issue for EU manufacturers that use this chemical if it is added to Annex XIV, however, past experience has shown that some formulations that contain SVHCs, such as varnishes, enamels, inks etc. that contain this substance, may be withdrawn from the EU market due to its addition to the Candidate List.
- Tris(4-nonylphenyl, branched and linear) phosphite (TNPP) with ≥0.1 % w/w of 4-nonylphenol, branched and linear (4-NP) (No CAS or EC numbers listed as there are many structural variants to this substance). TNPP is used as an antioxidant to stabilize polymers such as Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), low and high density polyethylene and rubbers as well as an additive in paints, powder coatings and adhesives. While TNPP will occur in polymers, paint and powder coatings and in adhesives, it may not be present at >0.1% by weight of articles, as this will depend on the amount of polymer, paint, adhesive, etc. present in the article. Also, Article 33 requirements will apply only if the TNPP contains ≥0.1 % w/w of 4-nonylphenol.
- 4-tert-butylphenol (EC 202-679-0, CAS 98-54-4). This is a process chemical used to make phenolic resin, polycarbonate, epoxy resins and is also used to manufacture additives such as UV stabilisers. It should not occur in articles at >0.1% by weight.
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