Friday, October 31, 2008

REACH SIN List of Chemicals

REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) was created in June 2007 by E.U. to make chemicals safer for human health and the environment and to stimulate innovation in the sector. These days, together with ChemSec they came out with the first-ever list of chemicals called REACH SIN list which is roughly comprised of 270 chemicals that need to be submitted for EU regulatory approval. The first list of hazardous chemicals to be submitted contains only 15 chemicals; all the other chemicals will be submitted in their order of hazardousness.

Among the 15 chemicals that are on the list, brominated flame retardant HBCDD is a common environmental contaminant used in plastics, textiles, electronic goods and three plastic softeners (the phthalates DEHP, DBP and BBP). These plastic softeners are suspected to seriously affect human fertility and are present in glues, inks, cosmetics and toiletries, and in many products made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Many companies have already started to phase them out, including major companies in the electronics sector that have eliminated the uses of brominated flame retardants and PVC.

These substances are used heavily in American industry as well and none of them is regulated. I hope that this E.U. initiative to regulate the chemical substances in consumer products will set in motion the U.S. government institutions to do the same. I hope so much for that day!

3 comments:

LisaatEWG said...

It's great to see another person who wants to see federal chemical policy reform in the US! We're working hard on that, and it's called the Kid Safe Chemicals Act. You can learn more here: www.ewg.org/kidsafe.

And if you are interested in getting involved in the grassroots effort to pass this thing, email me at: lisa [at] ewg [dot] org. We need all the help we can get! And blogging about it is an excellent way to spread the word.

Anonymous said...

The SIN list is not endorsed by the EU or REACH program.

Lucia said...

Anonymous,
welcome and thank you for your comment. SIN list is endorsed by REACH (which is European chemical legislation so it is endorsed by E.U. as well. Moreover, the list consists of 267 chemicals that are identified as Substances of Very High Concern based on the criteria established by the EU chemical regulation, REACH. For more information please look over the following links:
http://www.chemicalshealthmonitor.org/spip.php?rubrique21
http://www.chemsec.org/list/about-sin
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/reach_intro.htm
http://www.env-health.org/a/3123