In a press release published on January 14, 2020, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced that it will develop a positive list of substances safe for use in materials that come into contact with drinking water. A first version of the list is expected to include approximately 1,500 chemicals and be adopted by 2024. It will be based on existing lists from EU member states. ECHA intends to set up a review program and to then reassess each substance within 15 years after publication. Each approved substance on the positive list will only be authorized for use for a limited period of time, and companies will need to submit a review application to ECHA in order to renew approval. EU member states will also be able to submit dossiers requesting EHCA to remove a substance from the positive list or to make updates to entries within the list, such as concentration .

ECHA has been assigned the task of developing and managing the positive list following the provisional agreement to recast the Drinking Water Directive (98/83/EC) within the EU (FPF reported). ECHA has said it will be working closely with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on this task “due to the close links with food contact materials.”

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ECHA (January 14, 2020). “ECHA starts work on making drinking water safer.”

European Commission (December 19, 2020). “Commission welcomes provisional agreement to improve the quality of drinking water and the access to it.”

Luke Buxton (January 14, 2020). “Echa to start work on positive list of chemicals in water.” Chemical Watch

European Council (February 5, 2020). “Safe and clean drinking water: Council approves provisional deal which updates quality standards.”

Chemical Watch (February 20, 2020). “Envi approves recast EU drinking water Directive agreement.”