On January 15, 2018, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) updated bisphenol A’s (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) entry in the Candidate list to reflect “endocrine disrupting properties causing adverse effects in the environment” (FPF reported). Earlier, BPA has already been identified as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) due to its reprotoxic properties (FPF reported) and because of its endocrine disrupting effects in humans (FPF reported). Both latter decisions have been challenged by the European plastics association PlasticsEurope initiating lawsuits to the European Court of Justice  in May 2017 (FPF reported) and September 2017 (FPF reported). Whether PlasticsEurope will also sue ECHA over its latest decision on BPA’s SVHC entry is still open.

In his article published on February 1, 2018 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, editor Leigh Stringer summarized that several industry-related groups “disagree that there is scientific evidence of probable serious effects [of BPA] to the environment,” and they also “disagree with the studies selected to inform the dossier.” Furthermore, the PC/BPA subgroup of PlasticsEurope said that, because regulatory measures covering BPA uses under REACH already exist, the additional identification of BPA as an SVHC based on endocrine disrupting properties in the environment “does not provide regulatory value and could be considered premature.”

Asked by Chemical Watch, ECHA commented that its latest decision on BPA “will have an impact on the scope of the authorization requirement, if BPA is included in Annex XIV.” Allegedly, if the substance is identified as an SVHC due only to human health hazards, then some uses “such as those in cosmetic products and in food contact materials within the scope of relevant legislation, are exempt from the authorization requirement,” ECHA explained.

In February 2018, ECHA will submit its eight Annex XIV recommendation to the European Commission. However, BPA will not be included because it was not yet in the Candidate List when this recommendation round started, Stringer noted. The next recommendation is expected “for late 2019.”

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Leigh Stringer (February 1, 2018). “European plastics trade group opposes latest BPA decision.Chemical Watch