Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

First authorisation for a "substance of very high concern"

First authorisation for a "substance of very high concern"
Published on: 03/09/2014
Author: Enterprise & Industry Magazine
For the first time, the European Commission has authorised the continued use of a substance considered of "very high concern" under the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).

Adopted in 2006, REACH requires companies manufacturing or importing chemical substances in the EU, amounting to over one tonne per year, to register the substances with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The aim of REACH is not only to ensure the good functioning of the internal market and control concerning chemicals, but also to see that certain particularly hazardous substances are phased out and replaced by economically and technically viable alternatives.

The substance that was given the green light for continued use is the phthalate ‘DEHP’, which an aircraft producer uses in the manufacturing of aircraft engines. The Commission’s decision was based on the recommendations of the European Chemicals Agency Committees for Risk Assessment and for Socio-Economic Analysis, who found that all health risks to workers from the use of DEHP are controlled by the manufacturer. It was also noted that the company is searching for a suitable alternative, but there is currently none available.

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