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On March 8, 2018, ECHA opened the first 2018 public consultation on eight potential SVHCs.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 033/18

SafeGuardS Scientist with laboratory background and concept

On March 8, 2018, European Chemical Agency (ECHA) opened the first 2018 public consultation on eight potential Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) [1].

If these proposals are accepted the Candidate List will expand to 189. Interested parties have until April 23, 2018 to submit comments and further information on use, exposure, alternatives and risks of the substances to ECHA.

The eight potential SVHC proposals

Eight proposals are published for comments in the 2018 first SVHC consultation list, among which three potential SVHCs are cyclic polydimethylsiloxanes - octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane, decamethylcyclopentasiloxane and dodecamethylcyclohexasiloxane (i.e. D4, D5 and D6 respectively), which are considered to have PBT and vPvB properties. These cyclic polydimethylsiloxanes have various applications including, but not limited to, silicone polymer production, in washing and cleaning products, cosmetics and personal care products, polishes and waxes. Recently, the EU published regulations on D4 and D5 in wash-off cosmetic products with a limit of 0.1% by weight and the restriction will be effective from February 1, 2020 [2].

One SVHC proposal is Benzo[ghi]perylene, which belongs to the family of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and is also considered for inclusion owing to its classification as having PBT and vPvB properties. It is not produced intentionally but occurs together with other PAHs as a constituent of coal and petroleum stream UVCB substances.

Terphenyl hydrogenated is another vPvB substance on the consultation list. It is a UVCB substance used in coatings, adhesives, sealants, heat transfer fluid and as an additive in plastic applications.

One proposed SVHC is a respiratory sensitizer ethylenediamine - which is used in epoxy, PU, adhesives, coatings and other polymers, as well as processing aid agents, scavenging agents in refinery streams and corrosion inhibitors.

The remaining two substances are lead and disodium octaborate, which are both classified as toxic for reproduction. Lead is mainly used in lead-acid batteries and in lead sheets used in the construction industry. Lead is also used as shots and bullets for ammunition and for alloying steel, in soldering alloys, cable sheathing and for the production of oxides, pigments, stabilizers and other lead compounds. Lead is strictly restricted in jewelry and accessible parts of articles under REACH Annex XVII. Meanwhile, there are two restriction proposals on regulating lead in shot for shooting in wetland and its compounds in PVC articles as stabilizers [3]. Disodium octaborate has wide dispersive use in the manufacturing industry, the building sector, in refractory mixtures, as micronutrient fertilizers, and for indoor and outdoor facilities.

The potential uses of the nine potential SVHCs are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1. Possible uses of the potential SVHCs in the Consultation List published by ECHA on March 8, 2018

No.
Substance
CAS No./EC No.
Classification
Potential uses   
1
Benzo[ghi]perylene
191-24-2/ 205-883-8
PBT, vPvB
Not produced intentionally but occurs as a constituent or impurity in coal and petroleum stream substances
2
Octamethylcy
clotetrasiloxane (D4)
556-67-2/ 209-136-7
PBT, vPvB
  • As intermediate for production of silicone polymers
  • In washing and cleaning products, cosmetics and personal care products, polishes and waxes
  • For manufacture of chemicals, rubber products, plastic products, mineral products (e.g. plasters, cement) and electrical, electronic and optical equipment

3

Decamethylcy
clopentasiloxane (D5)
541-02-6/ 208-764-9
PBT, vPvB
  • As intermediate for production of silicone polymers
  • In washing and cleaning products, cosmetics and personal care products, polishes, waxes, paints, fragrances and air fresheners
  • In textile treatment products and dyes, polymers and adhesives and sealants
4
Dodecamethylcy
clohexasiloxane (D6)
540-97-6/ 208-762-8
PBT, vPvB
  • In production of polysiloxane polymers and resins
  • In washing and cleaning products, cosmetics and personal care products, polishes, waxes, pharmaceuticals and medical devices
5
Terphenyl hydrogenated
61788-32-7/ 262-967-7
vPvB
  • As additive in plastic applications
  • In coatings, inks, adhesives, sealants and heat transfer fluids
6
Ethylenediamine
107-15-3/ 203-468-6
Respiratory sensitizing properties
  • In epoxy, PU, adhesives, coatings and other polymers
  • As polymerization inhibitor, hydrogen sulfite scavenger, neutralizing corrosion inhibitor
  • As a processing aid
7
Lead
7439-92-1/ 231-100-4
Repr.1A
  • In lead-acid batteries, lead sheets and solder
  • For production of oxides, pigments, stabilizers and other lead compounds
  • In lead articles (e.g. cast, rolled and extruded products, ammunition and lead shot)
8
Disodium
octaborate
12008-41-2/234-541-0
Repr. 1B
  • In micronutrient fertilizers and in refractory mixtures
  • In cellulose insulation, paints and coatings, construction materials, and borate PVA solutions

Abbreviations

PBT: Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic

PU: Polyurethane

PVA: Polyvinyl alcohol

Repr. 1A: Toxic for reproduction category 1A

Repr. 1B: Toxic for reproduction category 1B

UVCBs: Substance of unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products or biological materials

vPvB: Very persistent and very bioaccumulative

Next step:

Comments and further information on use, exposure, alternatives and risks of the substances shall be submitted by April 23, 2018.

SVHCs may be introduced into various consumer products due to the complexities of both the supply chain and production process. Identifying high risk products or materials, or having a test strategy, can also be a smart way to ensure compliance and save costs. If you would like to learn more about how SGS can support your REACH compliance activities please contact us at reach@sgs.com or visit www.sgs.com/reach

For enquiries, please contact:

Emily Lam

Corporate Research & Development
t: +852 2204 8339 ext.1339

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