Helsinki – The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has forwarded recommendations for regulators to add silicone feedstocks cyclosiloxanes D4, D5 and D6* to the EU list of substances of very high concern (SVHCs).
In its proposal, ECHA said the siloxanes were considered “harmful to the environment and human health” and ‘prioritised’ these chemicals as they are “hazardous, produced in high volumes and widely used,” ECHA stated 14 April.
Some uses of the cyclosiloxanes are already restricted or in the process of being restricted in consumer products and in most professional uses under REACH regulations.
The agency said it prioritised the materials for inclusion in the authorisation list as some of their uses are not covered by the restriction activities.
A final decision to add the chemicals to the SVHCs authorisation list must now be taken by the European Commission together with the EU member states and the European Parliament.
Once on the list, companies will need to apply to ECHA for authorisation to continue to use the substances.
The silicones industry has previously voiced its concerns regarding the "unjustified application of the restrictions" and the impact on products that contribute to public safety and wellbeing.
*D4 (octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane), D5 (decamethylcyclopentasiloxane) and D6 (dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane) are used as chemical intermediates in the production of a wide range of silicone materials.