On June 5, 2018, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) launched a public consultation on behalf of the European Commission (EC) regarding the uses of bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7), dibutyl phthalate (DBP, CAS 84-74-2), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP, CAS 85-68-7), and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP, CAS 84-69-5).

In 2017, these four phthalates were identified as substances of very high concern (SVHCs) due to their endocrine disrupting properties with effects on human health (FPF reported). Already in 2014, DEHP was classified as an SVHC with endocrine disrupting effects on the environment (FPF reported). All four phthalates had previously been identified as SVHCs due their reprotoxic properties. For this reason, the substances were added to the Authorisation List (Annex XIV to REACH) in 2011 and 2012, ECHA explained.

The EC plans to amend the current entries in the Authorisation List according to the additional classification of the four phthalates as endocrine disruptors on the SVHC list, ECHA informed. As a result, some uses of the substances that were previously exempted from authorization may now require authorization. The public consultation is “targeted at the sectors affected by such amendment of the Authorisation List,” ECHA noted. “In particular, information is sought about the uses that might no longer be covered by generic exemptions from the authorization requirement, such as uses in food contact materials [(FCMs)] and in medical devices, as well as transitional arrangements, exemptions and review periods.”

Comments can be submitted until August 6, 2018.

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ECHA (June 5, 2018). “Consultation on four phthalates for updating their Authorisation List entries with endocrine disrupting properties.

Chemical Watch (June 6, 2018). “EU Commission: exempted uses of phthalates ‘may require authorisation.’