ECHA Starts 2021 HazMat Consultation

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The European Chemicals Agency started public consultation March 9 on eight proposed substances proposed for designation as being of very high concern, the first for 2021. These include several chemicals with uses in lubricants, lubricant additives and corrosion inhibitors.

According to the agency, SVHCs are chemicals that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction, persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic or very persistent and very bioaccumulative and chemicals that pose an equivalent level of concern like endocrine disruptors and sensitizers. For 2020, the candidate list contained 211 substances, the agency said in a Feb. 4 news release about the SVHC 2020 roadmap. If the eight proposals from March 9 are accepted, the candidate list would grow to 219. Interested parties can submit comments until April 23.

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Member States or the European Chemicals Agency, on request of the European Commission, may propose a substance to be identified as an SVHC by preparing a dossier in accordance with the requirements set out in Annex XV to REACH – or “registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals,” which is the EU regulation in force since June 1, 2007, governing the manufacture and import of chemical substances.

The ECHA itself proposed medium-chain chlorinated paraffins in the March 9 list. The agency cited as reasons persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic or very persistent and very bioaccumulative. Chlorinated paraffins are chlorinated alkanes that have carbon chain lengths ranging from 10 to 38, with varying degrees of chlorination. Those with lengths from C14 to C17 are classed as medium chain. CPs are used in metalworking fluids as extreme-pressure agents, especially for difficult drawing, forming and removal operations. Metalworking fluids thus fortified are often used to machine titanium alloys, stainless steels and other metals, because they protect tools and components from friction, wear and overheating at high speeds and intense pressures.

Sweden proposed orthoboric acid, sodium salt. The agency cited toxic for reproduction as the reason. Uses for the chemical include as components in lubricants.

Germany proposed phenol, alkylation products (mainly in para position) with C12-rich branched or linear alkyl chains from oligomerisation, covering any individual isomers and/ or combinations thereof (PDDP). Reasons for proposing included toxic for reproduction and endocrine disrupting properties. Uses include as an intermediate in lubricant additive materials.

France proposed 4,4′-(1-methylpropylidene)bisphenol; (bisphenol B)a. The proposing authority cited endocrine disrupting properties as the reason. This can be used in resin linings that serve as corrosion inhibitors inside cans for the food industry.

“For a large proportion of screened chemicals, more information from registrants is needed for authorities to be able to conclude on their hazards,” the agency stated in the Feb. 4 news release. “When the information becomes available through substance or dossier evaluations, some of the substances are expected to have SVHC properties and will be addressed with the best regulatory instrument (e.g. authorization, restriction, or other legislation).” For more information on the agency’s March 9 public consultation on eight potential SVHCs, visit the European chemicals Agency website.