In an article published on May 21, 2019, the non-governmental organization (NGO) European Environmental Bureau (EEB) reported on chemicals and companies involved in an earlier German investigation (FPF reported) into substances that were found to not meet EU REACH safety data requirements. The German environmental NGO BUND used a freedom of information request to follow-up on the investigation and identify that 654 separate companies were identified in 41 REACH dossiers that remained unchanged since being found incomplete in 2018. Of these, BUND reports that “five of the global top 10 chemical companies by sales are implicated.”

Based on data provided in the German investigation, “between 12 and 121 million [metric tons] of the 41 chemicals are used in Europe annually,” with some of them “widely found in industrial and consumer products, including toys or food contact products.” Specifically, dibutyl phthalate (CAS 84-74-2), methyl acetate (CAS 79-20-9), and trichloroethylene (CAS 79-01-6) are highlighted, all of which are included in the FACET inventory of food contact materials. Tatiana Santos, chemical policy officer at EEB, commented that “this should worry investors and downstream companies as much as citizens. Thousands are handling substances that could cause them major brand or financial problems. ECHA [European Chemicals Agency] has sat on this problem for years. We see the agency moving in the right direction, but why all the secrecy?” Santos went on to say that “BUND revealed the tip of the iceberg; now it is on ECHA to tell us the rest.”

In a reaction statement to the BUND’s findings, Marco Mensink, Director General at the European chemical industry association Cefic, commented that “the European chemical industry is making REACH work, already today. We take ECHA’s findings that the quality of data in a number of REACH dossiers needs improvement seriously, and we will be fully transparent about our actions to remedy the situation where it is appropriate. . . the issues raised by the BUND report are not new as all involved are already working on this issue.”

Read More

Jack Hunter (May 21, 2019). “Named: major brands ‘breaking EU chemical safety law’.” European Environmental Bureau

Andrew Marc Noel (May 21, 2019). “Chemicals in Consumer Goods Are Seen Escaping Safety Checks.Bloomberg

Cefic (May 21, 2019). “Cefic’s Reaction To The BUND Report: We Are Making REACH Work.

ECHA (May 21, 2019). “Improving compliance is ECHA’s key priority.

Luke Buxton (May 23, 2019). “Cefic, regulators promise action on REACH dossier non-compliance.Chemical Watch

Clelia Oziel (May 23, 2019). “ECHA to quadruple number of compliance checks on REACH dossiers.Chemical Watch