Six substances face REACH ban

17th March 2011

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  • Chemicals



Six substances of very high concern (SVHC) will be banned within the next three to five years under the EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) Regulation (1907/2007) unless an authorisation is granted to individual companies for their continued use.

The six SVHCs (see below) are carcinogenic or toxic for reproduction or persist in the environment and accumulate in living organisms, and are the first to move from the REACH candidate to the authorisation list.

Under REACH, which came into force on 1 June 2007, once a substance is placed on the authorisation list companies wishing to sell or use it need to demonstrate that the required safety measures have been taken to adequately control the risks, or that the benefits for the economy and society outweigh the risks. Also, where feasible alternative substances or techniques exist, they will also have to submit a timetable for substitution.

Each of the six substances has been given a “sunset date”, ranging from 2014 to 2015, meaning that after that date they may only be placed on the European market or used if an authorisation has been granted or an application for authorisation has been made. Companies can only receive an authorisation for an SVHC on the list for specific uses and for a certain period of time, although that can be renewed. There are currently another 46 SVHC on the REACH candidate list.

Six SVHCs on REACH authorisation list:

  • 5-tert-butyl-2, 4, 6-trinitro-m-xylene (musk xylene) – was widely used in consumer products, including shampoo and household detergents, and is still used in some cosmetics. Classifi ed as very persistent and very bioaccumulative. Sunset date is 21 July 2014.
  • 4,4’-diaminodiphenylmethane (MDA) – is a hardener for epoxy resin and is classifi ed as carcinogenic. Sunset date is 21 July 2014.
  • hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) – is a brominated fl ame retardant and is classifi ed as persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic. Sunset date is 21 July 2015.
  • bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) – is a plasticiser and is classifi ed as toxic for reproduction. Sunset date is 21 January 2015.
  • benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP) – is a plasticiser and is classifi ed as toxic for reproduction. Sunset date is 21 January 2015.
  • dibutyl phthalate (DBP) – is a plasticiser and is classifi ed as toxic for reproduction. Sunset date is 21 January 2015.


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