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European Chemicals Agency proposes tight controls for uses of BPA, dechlorane plus, and two glycol ethers

by Cheryl Hogue
October 2, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 39


Drawing shows chemical structure of bisphenol A

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is proposing strict regulation of many uses of bisphenol A (BPA), the flame retardant dechlorane plus, two glycol ethers, and several metal-containing compounds.

If the European Commission concurs with this plan, which ECHA released Oct. 1, companies in most cases will be prohibited from using the substances unless they apply for and receive authorization from ECHA to do so.

However, the proposal would not affect use of BPA, an estrogenic compound, in the manufacture of materials such as polycarbonate. ECHA classifies BPA as toxic for reproduction.

The proposal would tightly control use of dechlorane plus, a polychlorinated flame retardant used in adhesives, sealants, polymers, computers, electronics, and vehicle textiles. ECHA deems this substance as very persistent and very bioaccumulative.

ECHA considers ethylene glycol monoethyl ether and ethylene glycol monomethyl ether to be toxic for reproduction. The proposal would require authorization for uses of these substances other than as intermediates in making other materials.

The proposal also covers 9 substances that contain lead or tin and are also considered toxic for reproduction. They include tetraethyl lead used as an additive in aviation fuel. The proposal would not impact fuel that contains less than 0.1% of this substance.


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