ECHA Recommends 8 Substances for REACH Authorization

By: Joseph Lee on April 24th, 2023

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently recommended that the European Commission add eight substances, including lead, to the REACH Authorization List. This draft recommendation was published on 2 February 2022, generating many comments and an active discussion within ECHA’s Member State Committee. This discussion focused on the best timing for the recommendation, any combinations with other regulatory activities and the impact on industry and authorities.


ECHA’s 11th recommendation includes the following substances: 

  1. Ethylenediamine – used in manufacturing as a solvent, to solubilize proteins such as albumins and casein, as a corrosion inhibitor in paints and coolants, and more
  2. 2-(4-tertbutylbenzyl)propionaldehyde and its individual stereoisomers – a synthetic fragrance that is widely used in cosmetics, personal care products, laundry detergents, and air fresheners
  3. Lead – often used in metal alloys for its lubricating properties, lead is used in applications to shield from sound, vibration, and radiation
  4. Glutaral – used as a disinfectant and medication, usually applied as a solution, to sterilize surgical instruments and other areas
  5. 2-methyl-1-(4-methylthiophenyl)-2-morpholinopropan-1-one – a chemical compound used as a photoinitiator in polymer chemistry
  6. 2-benzyl-2- dimethylamino-4’-morpholinobutyrophenone – a chemical compound used as a photoinitiator in polymer chemistry
  7. Diisohexyl phthalate – used as a plasticizer in the manufacture of various products such as PVC, rubber, and plastics
  8. Orthoboric acid, sodium salt – used as a flame retardant and corrosion inhibitor in the manufacture of various products such as glass and ceramics

Now, companies will need to apply for Authorization to continue using these eight substances once they are added to the REACH Authorization List. This is an important development in the European chemicals industry and could have far-reaching implications for companies that use these substances. 


REACH Substance Lists 

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) maintains three lists under REACH regulation: Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) List, Authorisation List, and the Restricted List. 

The SVHC (or Candidate) List contains substances that may have serious and often irreversible effects on human health and the environment. If a substance is identified as an SVHC, it will be added to the Candidate List for eventual inclusion in the Authorisation List. 

The Authorisation (Annex 14) List contains substances that are subject to authorization under REACH and companies must apply for authorization of use. 

The Restricted (Annex 17) List contains substances restricted under REACH, and these substances cannot be used or placed on the market unless specific conditions are met.

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