In an article published on February 7, 2019 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, reporter Caterina Tani informed that “the European Commission has notified the WTO of its intention to identify 4-tert-butylphenol (PTBP, CAS 98-54-4) as a substance of very high concern” (SVHC) to be included on the REACH Candidate list. According to the draft implementing decision, this is due to “endocrine disrupting properties and the probable serious effects of the substance to the environment.”
The proposition to identify this substance as an SVHC had been announced in September 2016 (FPF reported), but at the time no unanimous agreement could be reached among the Member States (FPF reported). In March 2018, Norway decided to add PTBP to its national list of priority chemicals (FPF reported). Tani informed that “the final date for comments [on the WTO notification] is 60 days from notification, while the initial proposed date of adoption and entry into force was 30 June 2018.”
PBTP is used as an antioxidant in plastics, particularly in the phenolic/epoxy resins, and as a chemical intermediate in the production of synthetic resins, varnishes, lacquers, adhesives, paints, as well as some plasticizers and surface active agents. It is authorized for use in plastic food contact materials (see Annex I of Regulation (EU) No 10/2011) and also listed in the FACET inventory of FCMs and on the ESCO working group’s list of non-plastic FCMs. A related compound, 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol (2,4-DTBP, CAS 96-76-4), also used as chemical synthesis intermediate, has been detected in multiple plastic food contact articles made of different polymers (FPF reported).
Caterina Tani (February 7, 2019). “EU notifies WTO of 4-tert-butylphenol SVHC intention.” Chemical Watch
ECHA (December 15, 2016). “Opinion of the Member State Committee on the identification of 4-tert-butylphenol as a substance of very high concern.” (pdf)
European Commission (February 2019). “COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING DECISION of XXX on the identification of 4-tert-butylphenol (PTBP) as a substance of very high concern pursuant to Article 57(f) of Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council.” (pdf)