ECHA Announces New SVHC, Updates 5 Existing SVHCs

ECHA Announces New SVHC, Updates 5 Existing SVHCs

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has added a new Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) to the Candidate List, taking the total number of substances to 174.

The new SVHC, Perfluorohexane-1-sulfonic acid and its salts (PFHxS), was included on the List in alignment with Article 57e of the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation which deals with very persistent and very bioaccumulative substances. PFHxS is commonly used as a plasticiser, lubricant, surfactant, wetting agent, corrosion inhibitor and in fire-fighting foams. Despite being added to the Candidate List, it should be noted this substance has not yet been formally registered under REACH.

The listing of the new SVHC will require companies to survey their supply chains to identify where the substance is used, including in both semi-finished and finished articles. If the amount exceeds the threshold limit, appropriate notifications must be given to the ECHA, as well as to customers.

Do you know what constitutes an ‘article’ under REACH? To learn more, download the whitepaper REACH: Applying the New Article Interpretation.

The ECHA also made updates to five existing SVHC entries by identifying them as endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors affect the hormone system and can cause birth defects, cancer and developmental disorders. In light of this change, all safe usage guidelines for these substances—as well as for articles containing these substances—used in quantities above the threshold should be updated to reflect this change.

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