REACH SVHCs – Six Proposed Additions
The European Chemical Agency published proposals to add six substances to the REACH Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern on the 4th September 2018 and is carrying out a stakeholder consultation*. The consultation will determine whether the substances meet the criteria of REACH Article 57 only. Other issues, such as whether the substances cause harm or if alternatives exist are not considered. The proposed substances and their uses are:
2,2-bis(4′-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methylpentane. This substances is a type of “bisphenol” similar in its chemical structure to bisphenol A and so it may have similar uses such as in adhesives, paints and to make polymers. The ECHA Annex XV report gives two possible uses, one in thermal paper and the other to make polymers although this is only based on patents. Other sources indicate that it may also be used as a bioactive substance.
Benzo[k]fluoranthrene, fluoranthene, phenanthrene and pyrene. These four substances are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. They are not produced intentionally, but occur as impurities in carbon black, in extender oils and in petrochemical by-products such as pitch. As such they can occur in polymers and rubbers, although usually at less than 0.1% by weight in articles, and they will also be encountered as intermediates used to make other products.
Undecafluorohexanoic acid and its ammonium salt. This substance is similar to perfluoroocatanoic acid (PFOA) which will be, as a group, restricted by REACH Annex XVII item 68 from 2020 and there are already several other fluorinated aliphatic acids and salts that are SVHCs. The Annex XV report states that these substances are produced as unintentional impurities when fluoropolymers and fluorosurfactants are used for water, stain and soil repellence of e.g. textile/leather, paper, glass, or ceramic material. In these applications, the concentrations of undecafluorohexanoic acid and its ammonium salt will be <0.1% in articles. The Annex XV report also states that the precursors to undecafluorohexanoic acid and its ammonium salt are also used for photolithography in semiconductor manufacture, in some firefighting foams and as additives in hard chrome coating processes.
The deadline for stakeholder contributions is 19th October 2018. These substances could be added to the Candidate List in 2019.