Understanding the REACH Candidate List
Before diving into the recent additions to the REACH Candidate List, let’s briefly explore what REACH is and the significance of the Candidate List.
REACH, which stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals, is a comprehensive chemical regulation enacted by the European Union. Its primary goal is to ensure the safe use of chemicals throughout their lifecycle, from production and import to end-use and disposal. Under REACH, manufacturers and importers are required to register chemicals with the European Chemicals Agency and provide data on their properties and safe use.
The Candidate List is a crucial component of the REACH regulation. It serves as a dynamic list of substances that are considered of very high concern due to their potential adverse effects on human health or the environment. Once a substance is included in the Candidate List, it can trigger various regulatory actions, including restrictions and authorisation requirements, further reinforcing the EU’s commitment to chemical safety. As a regulation REACH is legally binding across all EU member states.
Nine New Additions to the REACH Candidate List
The recent update to the REACH Candidate List on January 17, 2023, marks an important milestone in the EU’s efforts to protect people and the environment from hazardous chemicals. Let’s take a closer look at the nine substances that have been added:
- 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN): Used in the production of insensitive munitions and pyrotechnics, DNAN has raised concerns regarding its potential impact on aquatic life.
- 5-sec-butyl-2-(2,4-dimethylcyclohex-3-en-1-yl)-5-methyl-1,3-dioxane , 5-sec-butyl-2-(4,6-dimethylcyclohex-3-en-1-yl)-5-methyl-1,3-dioxane : These two substances are used as fragrance ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products and are included due to their potential skin sensitization effects.
- Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5): Found in various personal care products and industrial applications, D5 is included because of its potential for long-term toxicity to aquatic life.
- Dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP): A plasticiser used in various products, DCHP has been added due to its endocrine-disrupting properties.
- Ethylenediamine (EDA): An essential chemical in several industrial processes, EDA has been included on the Candidate List due to its potential respiratory sensitisation effects.
- Fenhexamid: A fungicide used in agriculture, Fenhexamid’s presence on the Candidate List is attributed to concerns regarding its potential endocrine-disrupting properties.
- Methyl ethyl ketoxime (MEKO): MEKO is a common additive in coatings, adhesives, and sealants, but it has been included due to its respiratory sensitisation properties.
- Orthoboric acid, sodium salt: Found in various consumer products, this substance has been added to the Candidate List because of its reproductive toxicity.
- Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) and its salts: These substances are used in various applications, including as surfactants and in fire-fighting foams. Their inclusion is due to their persistence and potential adverse effects on aquatic life.
The addition of nine hazardous chemicals to the EU REACH Candidate List in 2023 underscores the EU’s commitment to chemical safety and its responsibility to safeguard human health and the environment. By identifying and regulating substances of very high concern, the EU continues to take proactive measures to mitigate the risks associated with potentially harmful chemicals.