ECHA Releases Another 54 SVHC Proposals for Consultation

ECHA Releases Another 54 SVHC Proposals for Consultation

The next 54 SVHC proposals were released today by the ECHA.   Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and the United Kingdom put forward proposals for 17 of the 54 substances while the European Commission requested that the ECHA prepare the other 37 Annex XV dossiers for this round of proposals.

The proposed substances are being nominated based on multiple different SVHC properties; Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) or very Persistent and very Bioaccumulative (vPvB), Equivalent level of concern – probable serious effects on human health or the environment,  as well as the more common Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or toxic to Reproduction (CMRs).

The most well-known of the 54 is likely Bis(pentabromophenyl)ether – better known as DecaBDE (CAS # 1163-19-5, EC # 214-604-9). DecaBDE is used as an additive flame retardant in plastics, polymers and textiles, it follows in the steps of other flame retardants on the SVHC list such as HBCDD and TCEP. The group also includes 2 more phthalates (DIPP – Diisopentylphthalate and N-pentyl-isopentylphtalate), multiple lead substances (lead oxides, lead borates, lead nitrates, lead salts), silicic acids, Furan, HHPA, and multiple fluoro decanoic acids.

Earlier this year, the ECHA had abandoned its previously stated goal of 136 SVHCs by the end of 2012 based on economic and resource constraints. The addition of 13 SVHCs (and an amalgamation of 4 of the entries down to 2) back in June had allowed the list to grow to 84 substances and it was expected that at most another 13 would be added, bringing the total for 2012 to 97 substances. Should all 54 proposed substances move forward, there will be 138 substances on the SVHC Candidate List meaning the ECHA has actually exceeded their originally stated goal. This would also be the single largest addition to the SVHC list in its history. Last December 20 substances were added and this was considered an enormous jump for a restricted substances list that changes so frequently. The 54 substances being added would account for a 64% increase over the current SVHC Candidate List!

Based on the history of the SVHC Candidate List, every proposed SVHC is eventually added and therefore, if you deal with the European Union, it is in your best interest to be aware of the proposals and look to prepare your company for the requirements associated with their addition to the Candidate List.

Upon addition to the Candidate List, products containing these substances in amounts exceeding 0.1% w/w will be required to communicate the identity of the substance and safe handling instructions. There is also the possibility of notification to the ECHA.

The complete list of proposed SVHCs and the Annex XV dossiers can be found at: http://echa.europa.eu/proposals-to-identify-substances-of-very-high-concern

[NOTE: These proposals can be commented upon by interested parties and stakeholders until October 18th, 2012.]

Assent Compliance can provide consulting support as well as aid in the development of a robust compliance plan to face SVHC compliance confidently. Once these substances have been added to the SVHC Candidate List, Assent will host a webinar looking at the products and industries affected by this huge group of substances.

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