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ECHA Updates Registry to Address Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC): Potential Impacts on Key Sectors

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The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has recently updated the registry of intention to identify Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), with the aim of addressing their serious and often irreversible effects on human health and the environment. When a substance is designated as an SVHC, it becomes subject to specific REACH authorization requirements.

Here is a list of the substances (and reasons for identification) currently proposed for SVHC identification and for which a public consultation is open until te 16th of October:

(*) 2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenol (Toxic for reproduction, PBT, vPvB)

(*) 2-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenol (vPvB)

(*) 2-(dimethylamino)-2-[(4-methylphenyl)methyl]-1-[4-(morpholin-4-yl)phenyl]butan-1-one (Toxic for reproduction)

(*) bumetrizole (vPvB)

(*) Dibutyl phthalate (Endocrine disrupting properties – environment)

(*) Oligomerisation and alkylation reaction products of 2-phenylpropene and phenol (vPvB)

Based on the proposed substances for potential identification as SVHCs and their known uses, several sectors could be potentially impacted. Here's a breakdown of the sectors that might be affected by these substances:

  • Chemical Manufacturing and Production: The substances listed are often used as chemical intermediates and additives in various manufacturing processes. The chemical industry itself may be significantly impacted, especially in terms of compliance with regulations and the need to substitute or reduce the use of SVHCs.

  • Consumer Products: SVHCs can find their way into various consumer products. This includes items like plastic products, paints, coatings, and adhesives that may contain these substances. Regulatory changes can affect the production and availability of such products.

  • Automotive Industry: Certain substances, when used in automotive manufacturing, can have implications for the automotive sector. This may include components like plastics, coatings, and additives used in vehicles. Automotive manufacturers might need to adapt their materials and processes.

  • Electronics and Electrical Equipment: Substances like 2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenol can be used in electronics manufacturing. The electronics industry may need to reconsider the use of SVHCs in their products.

  • Agriculture: The agricultural sector could be impacted if any of these substances are used in pesticides or herbicides. Changes in regulations may affect farming practices and the availability of certain agricultural chemicals.

  • Construction: Construction materials such as paints, sealants, and coatings may contain SVHCs. Regulatory changes could influence construction practices and building materials.

  • Textiles and Apparel: Some of these substances may be used in textiles and apparel production. The fashion industry may need to assess and modify its supply chains and materials.

  • Waste Management: The identification of substances as SVHCs can impact waste management and disposal practices. Proper disposal and handling of SVHC-containing waste become crucial.

  • Healthcare and Medical Devices: Depending on their properties, some SVHCs might be used in healthcare products or medical devices. Regulatory changes could affect the medical industry.

It's important to note that the exact impact on these sectors will depend on various factors, including the specific regulations implemented, the concentration and usage of these substances in different products, and the availability of alternative, safer substances. Industries and businesses affected by these substances may need to assess their practices, find suitable alternatives, and ensure compliance with regulatory changes to mitigate potential impacts.

This public consultation provides an opportunity for stakeholders and concerned citizens to contribute their insights and opinions regarding the potential identification of these substances as SVHCs. The consultation period will remain open until October 16, 2023.

For more information and to participate in the consultation, please visit the Identification of substances of very high concern webpage.


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