European Chemicals Agency Adds Six New Substances of Very High Concern
The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, announced in January that six new substances have been added to its Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) for Authorization. The chemicals fluoranthene and pyrene were added to the Candidate List because of their persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) and very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) properties. Another substance, 1,7,7-trimethyl-3-(phenylmethylene)bicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-one, was identified as an SVHC due to its endocrine-disrupting properties. In addition to its PBT and vPvB properties, benzo[k]fluoranthene was added to the Candidate List due to its carcinogenic properties. Phenanthrene, a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, was added for its vPvB properties, and the substance 2,2-bis(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methylpentane was added because it is toxic to reproduction. According to ECHA, pyrene is used as a transported intermediate for the manufacture of fine chemicals. The other five substances are either not yet registered under REACH, the EU’s Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, or have no active registrations under REACH. ECHA lists no examples of uses for 2,2-bis(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-4-methylpentane; benzo[k]fluoranthene; fluoranthene; phenanthrene; or 1,7,7-trimethyl-3-(phenylmethylene)bicyclo[2.2.1]heptan-2-one.  Identifying a substance as an SVHC and including it in the Candidate List is the first step of the authorization procedure under REACH. SVHCs are substances that may have serious and often irreversible effects on human health and the environment. For more information, read ECHA’s press release.