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Chemical Regulation

Tetraglyme proposed as candidate for regulation in EU

ECHA says plan to restrict dechlorane plus flame retardant expected in April

by Cheryl Hogue
September 3, 2020

Drawing shows the chemical structure of tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether.

A glycol ether sometimes called tetraglyme would become a candidate for tight regulation in the European Union under a proposal pending at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

The substance, tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether, is used as a solvent or extraction agent in inks and toners, ECHA says.

A proposal from Austria would deem the compound a “substance of very high concern” because it is toxic to reproduction. After a public comment period on the proposal, ECHA will decide whether the chemical qualifies for this categorization and thus become a candidate for strict regulation under the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) law.

In a move toward EU regulation of another compound, Norway intends to propose restricting the manufacture, use, and sales of the polychlorinated flame retardant known as dechlorane plus, ECHA says. In 2018, ECHA classified dechlorane plus, which is used in polymers, as a substance of very high concern because it is persistent and bioaccumulative.

Norway’s formal regulatory proposal is expected in April 2021.

Meanwhile, governments are considering restrictions on dechlorane plus under an international treaty, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. The substance has been found widespread in the environment.


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