Today the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) presented an analysis of the SIN List. This is part of the agency’s work to screen external sources for substances of concern and constitutes a thorough mapping of all SIN List chemicals. ECHA concludes that the majority of the substances on the SIN List “are regulated or under scrutiny, but more work needs to be done”.
ChemSec welcomes the recognition of the SIN List as an important source of information for ECHA, and strongly agree with the notion that more work needs to be done. ChemSec is concerned, however, that the analysis may give a false impression that the use of SIN List chemicals in the EU is under control.
While ECHA’s and ChemSec’s views align on many issues, the dividing opinion seems to be around which chemicals should be on the Candidate List. The SIN List aims to identify SVHCs of relevance for the Candidate List. It contains over 900 substances, while the Candidate List contains less than 200, and ChemSec therefore urges member states and ECHA to accelerate the process. The political target of having all known relevant SVHCs listed by 2020 is not likely to be met.
“Candidate Listing is crucial as this is such a strong driver for substitution and is followed by the right to know about hazardous chemicals in products. ChemSec is convinced that every substance on the SIN List fulfils the criteria for identification as an SVHC (Substance of Very High Concern) and should therefore be placed on the Candidate List,” says Frida Hök, Senior Policy Advisor at ChemSec.
“It’s understandable that ECHA must prioritise and focus its resources on ‘substances that matter’. However the prioritisation, which has been done in line with the agreed SVHC Roadmap, might lead to that hazardous and important substances are overlooked. In addition, the substances identified by ECHA as being under “regulatory scrutiny” are likely many years from being regulated if these processes continue at the current speed”, Ms Hök continues.
In the coming week ChemSec will publish a more in-depth analysis of the SIN List and how it shows that the REACH process is too slow.