The Member State Committee of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) adopted an opinion sharing the ECHA Secretariat's view that seven substances of very high concern should be included in the so-called Authorisation List. The opinion was adopted by consensus. The Agency will finalise its recommendation on these substances, taking into account the Opinion of the Member State Committee, and submit it to the European Commission by 1 June 2009.
The authorisation process seeks to ensure that the risks from substances of very high concern are properly controlled and that the substances are progressively replaced. The final decision on the inclusion of the substances in the Authorisation List will be taken by the European Commission following the Comitology procedure (Regulatory procedure with scrutiny). Substances on this List will in future only be able to be used within the EU when “authorised” for specific purposes.
The seven substances are:
• musk xylene – a fragrance enhancer which is used for example in detergents, fabric softeners and fabric conditioners;
• 4,4`-diaminodiphenylmethane (MDA) – a hardener which is used for example in epoxy resins and adhesives;
• short chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) – a substance mostly used as flame retardant and/or plasticiser in various applications such as highperformance
rubber, sealants, paints or textile coating;
• hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) – a flame retardant which is used for example in polystyrene, which is then further processed for the production of insulation panels/boards or packaging products, and in textile applications;
• bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) – a plasticiser which is used in a wide range of PVC and other polymers applications, such as for example flooring, roofing, coated fabrics, medical devices or primary packaging of medicinal products, as well as in various preparations such as for example sealants, adhesives and inks;
• benzylbutylphthalate (BBP) - a plasticiser which is used for example in polymer products, and in particular in PVC for flooring applications, in textile and leather coating, as well as in various other preparations such as sealants, coating and inks or adhesives;
• dibutylphthalate (DBP) – a specialist plasticiser which is used in particular in various polymer (PVC/non-PVC) applications (such as floor covering or primary packaging of medicinal products), and as a component of various preparations such as adhesives or paints.
The Committee agreed with ECHA's draft recommendation except that it:
• did not support the proposed exemptions for MDA, DEHP, DBP and BBP in artists' paints;
• was not able to define its opinion on SCCPs with regard to the proposal by ECHA. The proposal was to exempt from the authorisation requirement the placing on the market of SCCPs in mixtures in a concentration at or lower than 1% by weight for use in metalworking and in fat liquoring of leather. An opinion on this issue for SCCP will need further legal analysis.
Six members gave a declaration to be attached to the minutes expressing their concerns on the prioritisation of HBCDD – notably the impact on small firms if authorisation is needed to use it in the production of polystyrene boards mainly used in construction as an insulating material.
European Chemicals Agency