22 September 2008 17:33 [Source: ICIS news]
HELSINKI (ICIS news)--The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which is responsible for running the EU’s Reach scheme, will discuss its first candidate list of substances of very high concern next week, the agency’s executive director said on Monday.
ECHA’s Member State Committee (MSC), which makes proposals for substances of very high concern (SVHC), will discuss the first 16 chemicals that were announced in July as potential candidates for authorisation under Reach.
The chemicals, which include CMRs (carcinogens, mutagens or substances with reproductive or developmental toxicity profiles) and PBEs (persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances), could eventually be banned for sale in the EU if they are not authorised.
If there is full agreement within the MSC, a final decision on the list is expected by the end of October, executive director Geert Dancet said.
But if the MSC cannot agree on the list, the decision will be referred to the European Commission.
“A decision is expected at the end of October if, and only if, there is a full agreement between member states in the MSC. That is the only way that we can make the final decision.”
Dancet added: “The important thing is that we need to try to convince member states to agree on the list.”
He noted that the so-called “SIN” (substitute it now) list of potentially dangerous chemicals, published last week by a coalition of NGOs, could be useful for governments to help them choose future SVHC candidates.
The SIN list contains 267 substances, while the ECHA’s first candidate list will contain a maximum of 16 substances, he said. “But what’s important is that we will update our candidate list at least once a year, so we will add more substances.”
The SIN list could also help those companies that want to move faster than the law, he observed. “Some companies are so concerned about their green image that they want to be stricter than the law, so might use that (SIN) list if they want to eliminate more substances from their supply chain.”
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