ECHA names four new substances of very high concern

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has added four chemicals to its list of substances of very high concern (SVHCs), bringing the list to 205. It has also proposed restrictions on 4,000 chemicals used in tattoo inks.

Their conclusion puts them on the pathway towards authorisation – that is, requiring special permission for use – or other regulatory measures to reduce environmental and human exposure.

Perhaps the most notable among them is PFBS, a highly persistent perfluoroalkyl substance dubbed a ‘forever chemical’ and used in the non-stick coating Scotchgard.

ECHA’s Member State Committee unanimously backed a Norwegian proposal for it to become an SVHC last month. Aside from being persistent and highly mobile in water, it is also an endocrine disruptor, reprotoxic and has moderate potential for bioaccumulation in humans. “Together, these elements lead to a very high potential for irreversible effects,” the regulator notes in its decision.

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