EU to ban six chemical substances of 'very high concern'

17 February 2011 17:24  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The EU is to ban six chemical substances that are classifed as being of very high concern within the next three to five years unless it grants authorisation for their use, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said on Thursday.

The substances of very high concern (SVHC), which are classified as such based on recommendations by the ECHA, are carcinogenic, toxic for reproduction or persist in the environment and accumulate in living organisms.

Products classifed as SVHC cannot be placed on the market or used unless the EU grants authorisation to individual companies for a specific use.

The six chemicals to be banned are 5-ter-butyl-2,4,6-trinito-m-xylene (musk xylene), 4,4'-diaminodiphenylmethane (MDA), hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), bis(2-ethylexyl) phthalate (DEHP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).

The chemicals were the first to be placed on the SVHC “candidate list” to become subject to authorisation under the EU's Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (Reach) regulation.

“Today’s decision is an example of the successful implementation of Reach and of how sustainability can be combined with competitiveness. It will encourage industry to develop alternatives and foster innovation," said European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani.

The ECHA said that operators wishing to sell or use these substances would need to demonstrate that the required safety measures have been taken to adequately control the risks posed by the substances, or that the substances' benefits for the economy and society outweighed the risks.

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By: Franco Capaldo
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