ERJ staff report (DS)
Helsinki, Finland -- ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency has published its list of substances of very high concern. Any company using these chemicals above trace levels must, from today, notify customers about their use.
The list includes cobalt dichloride, which is used in some compounds used in tyre manufacture and SCCP (Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffin) materials, used in some rubber goods as flame retardants.
The full listing of 15 substances, of which eight are regularly used in the wider polymer industry, can be seen via the link below. Of these, DEHP (Bis (2-ethylhexyl)phthalate) is widely used as a plasticiser in the PVC industry, while MDA (4,4'- Diaminodiphenylmethane) is a precursor to the MDI used in polyurethane manufacture.
From today, companies must immediately communicate the presence of these substances in all products if present at above 0.1% weight/weight. Consumers can request information on these substances to suppliers or directly to retailers, in which case answers must be given within 45 days.
ECHA published a candidate list a few weeks ago, so companies have had a few weeks to prepare, but from today, all goods containing these chemicals mustbe marked as such. Over the longer term, said Smithers Rapra, which operates a consultancy service in the area, "the use of candidate list substances will be phased-out through an 'Authorisation' scheme. Exceptions can however apply, such as for the use of a substance as an intermediate. Unlike many other parts of REACH, obligations relating to the candidate list substances apply irrespective of tonnage; a fact that is catching many companies unaware."
ECHA said in relation to articles containing the substances, "From 28 October 2008, EU & EEA suppliers of articles which contain substances on the Candidate List in a concentration above 0.1% (w/w) must provide sufficient information, available to them, to their customers and on request to consumers within 45 days of the receipt of this request. This information must ensure safe use of the article and, as a minimum, include the name of the substance.
And in relation to substances containing the listed chemicals, "From 28 October 2008, EU & EEA suppliers of a substance have to provide a safety data sheet to their customers when the substance is on the Candidate List. "
Finally, on preparations containing the chemicals, ECHA said, "From 28 October 2008, EU and EEA suppliers of a preparation not classified as dangerous according to Directive 1999/45/EC have to provide the recipients, at their request, with a safety data sheet if the preparation contains at least one substance on the Candidate List and its individual concentration is at least 0.1% (w/w) for non gaseous preparations and at least 0.2% by volume for gaseous preparations."
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List of chemicals of very high concern from ECHA
Press release from ECHA