On February 8, 2017, 31 European and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) published a letter that they sent to the EU Member States REACH Committee. The next REACH Committee meeting is scheduled to take place on February 16-17, 2017. The Committee will discuss and possibly vote on 1) the restriction proposal for the use of octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane (D4, CAS 556-67-2) and decamethylcyclopentasiloxane (D5, CAS 541-02-6) in personal care products (FPF reported), 2) the identification of diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP, CAS 84-69-5), dibutyl phthalate (DBP, CAS 84-74-2), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP, CAS 85-68-7), and bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7) as substances of very high concern (SVHCs) due to their endocrine disrupting properties, and 3) the European Commission’s (EC) proposal to amend the REACH annexes for substances with nanoforms.
The NGOs, including the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), CHEM Trust, and the European Environmental Citizens’ Organisation for Standardisation (ECOS), deem the scope of the proposed restriction of D4 and D5 limited and call for “additional measures under [REACH] authorization” in order to “address the specific environmental concerns related to the PBT and/or vPvB properties of these substances.” Further, the NGOs ask the Committee members to support and vote in favor of the EC’s proposal to identify DEHP, DBP, BBP, and DIBP as SVHCs due to their endocrine disrupting properties and “consequent implications for human health.” The four phthalates were already identified as SVHCs in 2008 due their reprotoxic properties and are included in the Authorization List as well as the Restriction List (except for DIBP) of REACH. DEHP has also been recognized as an SVHC due to its endocrine disrupting properties in the environment (FPF reported). Regarding the EC’s proposal to amend the REACH annexes for substances with nanoforms, the NGOs note that the proposal bypasses the EC’s Competent Authority Subgroup on Nanomaterials (CASG-nano). The NGOs also highlight the EC’s “delay and total absence of legal action on nanomaterials” since 2012, and demand a “more transparent, accountable and inclusive decision-making process.”
ECOS (February 8, 2017). “NGOs demand REACH to take action on key chemical substances.”
Luke Buxton (February 14, 2017). “NGOs urge EU member states to consider D4 and D5 ban.” Chemical Watch
EEB et al. (February 8, 2017). “Letter to members of the REACH Committee.” (pdf)