Issue Date: January 2, 2012
Chemicals Listed For European Regulation
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) last month added 20 chemicals to its list of substances that are candidates for strict regulation or a ban. One of the chemicals is 4-tert-octylphenol, used in the manufacture of polymers and in adhesives, coatings, inks, and rubber. It is the first compound that the European Union agency has ranked as a “substance of very high concern” because of its endocrine-disrupting properties. Substances on the “very high concern” list are candidates for the EU’s strictest chemical regulation, which is a ban on their use unless ECHA gives specific authorization. The agency added several other compounds to this list because of their ability to cause cancer. They include the laboratory reagent phenolphthalein, a formaldehyde-aniline polymer called technical MDA, and ethylene dichloride, which is used in the manufacture of other chemicals and as a solvent. Two other solvents—N,N-dimethylacetamide and bis(2-methoxyethyl) ether—were listed because of their reproductive toxicity. Other substances that ECHA placed in this category are certain ceramic fibers and some arsenic-containing compounds.
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