EU round up – ECHA plans expanded authorisation list, proposing plastics chemicals for tough control

13 November 2014

A range of paints and coatings-related chemicals have been included in a draft list of new substances subject to special authorisation by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) for their manufacture or use in the European Union (EU). ECHA is now consulting on these planned additions to its authorisation list, because of concerns about their potential impact on human health and the environment.

The chemicals under consideration include: 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, di-C6-8-branched alkyl esters, C7-rich, used to make sealants, coatings and printing inks; Disodium tetraborates used to make industrial paints, coatings and adhesives; Acetic acid, lead salt, basic present in coatings, paints, thinners and paint removers; 4-Nonylphenol, branched and linear, ethoxylated (4-NPnEO) used to formulate paints at industrial sites and in emulsion polymerisation; Bis(2-methoxyethyl) phthalate (DMEP), an ingredient for paints, lacquers, varnishes, adhesives and printer inks; Anthracene oil, coatings and paints ingredient; Orange lead (lead tetroxide), used in paints; Diboron trioxide, found in coatings and adhesive powders; Boric acid, used in paints, coatings and adhesives; Tetralead trioxide sulphate, helps makes coatings and inks; and Coal tar pitch, high temperature (CTPHT), an anti-corrosion agent in (speciality) coatings, paints and adhesives.

ECHA wants comments on these potential controls by November 30, after which it will make final recommendations to the European Commission, which has the authority to list chemicals on the EU authorisation list. The proposals are part of EU chemical control system REACH. See

• Meanwhile, ECHA has also updated its chemical safety assessment advice to take account of new Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) guidance on testing chemicals for mutagenicity. This improves advice on when and how to use these tests and on testing strategies.

• And the EU agency has announced its new ePIC IT tool will replace the European Commission’s EDEXIM system, currently used for EU Prior Informed Consent Regulation (PIC) procedures for the export and import of very hazardous chemicals. An ECHA note said: "ePIC allows information to be securely exchanged between industry users, authority users and customs users and supports all authorities in the European Union”. The old EDEXIM system will close by the end of 2014. See

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