Following a 60-day public consultation period (FPF reported), the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) reported on June 17, 2020 that its Committee for Socio-Economic Analysis (SEAC) has adopted a final opinion supporting a proposal to restrict the manufacture and sale of perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS; CAS 355-46-4), its salts, and related substances in mixtures and articles. The committee is said to have “concluded that the expected benefits and costs to society of the restriction proposal are proportionate and would, therefore, be the most appropriate EU-wide measure to address the identified risks to the environment.” The restriction is meant to prevent the regrettable substitute of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA; CAS 335-67-1) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS; CAS 1763-23-1), which will be banned from July 4, 2020. The opinion itself is set to be published on SEAC’s web page in the near future, and it will be forwarded onto the European Commission (EC), which will have to approve the proposal with EU member states.

ECHA also announced that its Member State Committee (MSC) has not agreed to identify the substance resorcinol (CAS 108-46-3) as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) due to its endocrine disrupting properties. However, the committee did agree that scientific evidence exists for it as an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) under criteria set by the World Health Organization (WHO). As the MSC could not reach a decision, the responsibility now falls on the EC’s REACH Committee, which now has three months to create a draft proposal on its identification as an SVHC and make a final decision. Resorcinol is used in the manufacture of rubber compounds, resins, and coatings, and it is listed within the FACET Database of food contact chemicals.

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ECHA (June 16, 2020). “Resorcinol not identified as a substance of very high concern.”

ECHA (June 16, 2020). “ECHA’s committees recommend restricting a subgroup of PFAS.”

Luke Buxton (June 17, 2020). “Echa Member State Committee fails to agree on resorcinol SVHC identification.” Chemical Watch

Health and Environmental Alliance (June 18, 2020). “HEAL regrets ECHA Member States Committee failure to recognise endocrine disrupting Resorcinol as a substance of very high concern.”

Emma Davies (June 25, 2020). “Lack of EU-wide agreement on resorcinol as SVHC ‘disappointing’ – NGOs.Chemical Watch