In November 2019, the German Environment Agency (UBA) published a report titled “REACH: Improvement of guidance and methods for the identification and assessment of PMT/vPvM substances” authored by Hans Peter Arp and Sarah Hale from the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute. The report presents and discusses updated guidelines for using the REACH registration process to identify persistent, mobile, and toxic (PMT) substances as well as very persistent and very mobile (vPvM) substances. The mobile criterion (M) and the very mobile criterion (vM) for substances were assessed based on their partitioning behavior between organic carbon and water (Koc). The PMT/vPvM criteria for persistent (P), very persistent (vP) and for toxic (T) are consistent with those in Annex XIII of REACH.
The presented guidance was applied to all 15,469 substances registered under REACH as of May 2017, and it was found that 260 of them met the criteria for PMT or vPvM, 224 met the criteria for being PM, and 5,593 had low-quality or insufficient data available to make a conclusion and may require further investigation. The report reviews the identified PMT/vPvM substances in terms of their “monitoring data, emission likelihood and current restrictions or regulations.” The authors further prioritize 122 of these identified chemicals for additional investigation and potential introduction of risk management actions. They conclude that “without acting [on these priority chemicals], the cost of clean-up and drinking water purification in Europe could be well into several billions of Euros.”