The European Commission has officially designated nine chemicals, including one used to make coated galvanized steel, as substances of very high concern, meaning their uses will have to be authorized.
In a separate action, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Sweden announced their intent to nominate an additional 10 chemicals as substances of very high concern (SVHC).
The European Commission regulation, published in the Aug. 19 Official Journal of the European Union, carries out recommendations made by the European Chemicals Agency in 2013.
The regulation places nine chemicals on the Annex 14 list of the registration, evaluation and authorization of chemicals (REACH) regulation (EC 1907/2006).
Listing in Annex 14 means the substance can't be used without specific authorization. The Aug. 19 regulation includes deadlines by which authorization requests must be filed. Depending on the chemical, the deadlines fall between Feb. 22, 2016, and July 22, 2017.
Steel Coating Chemical
Among the nine chemicals is strontium chromate (EC No. 232-142-6; CAS No. 7789-06-2), which is made in or imported into the European Union in a total volume ranging between 1,000 metric tons and 10,000 metric tons (1,102-11,023 U.S. short tons) per year, ECHA said in a background document supporting its recommendation. Much of that is exported, ECHA added.
Coil coating refers to steel that is coated, often including a layer of zinc, during the manufacturing process, as opposed to coating in batches after production. Flat-rolled steel is often shipped in rolls known as coils.
Wayne Pigment Corp. is the main U.S. company making strontium chromate, while Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc. is among the chemical's importers.
Strontium chromate primarily is used to protect steel and zinc in coil-coated galvanized steel, ECHA said. The coil-coated metal mainly is used in buildings.
Uses Are Widespread
Much smaller quantities of strontium chromate are used in primers, sealants, joint compounds and top coat paints for aerospace applications and in anticorrosion primers, in fillers and sealants for the construction and maintenance of heavy duty vehicles and trucks, military vehicles and agricultural equipment, ECHA said.
The uses that could be affected by authorization requirements are widespread, ECHA said.
For the coil-coating sector, alternatives seem to be available for indoor applications, ECHA said. Alternatives still are needed for outdoor applications in harsh weathering conditions such as coastal areas, it said.
Some alternatives are available for vehicular applications of the chemical, while more research needs to be done on possible substitutes for aerospace applications, ECHA said.
Solvent Used in Chemical Production
Ethylene dichloride, also known as 1,2-dichloroethane (EC No. 203-458-1; CAS No. 107-06-2), also has been added to Annex 14.
The total amount of 1,2-dichloroethane manufactured in the EU ranges between 1 million and 10 million metric tons (1.1-11 million short U.S. tons) per year, ECHA said in the background document supporting its recommendation to the commission. Another 10,000 to 50,000 metric tons (11,023-55,115 short U.S. tons) are imported into the EU annually, ECHA said.
Almost all of the 1,2-dichloroethane, more than 99 percent, is used to make other chemicals, and those uses can continue without authorization, ECHA said.
The most common use of 1,2-dichloroethane is to make vinyl chloride, which is used to make a variety of plastic and vinyl products, including polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes, furniture and automobile upholstery, wall coverings, housewares and automobile parts.
The uses that would be subject to authorization are 1,2-dichloroethane's use as a solvent and as an ingredient in chemical mixtures, ECHA said.
Other chemicals the Commission added to Annex 14 are:
- oligomeric reaction products of formaldehyde with aniline (technical MDA) (EC No. 500-036-1; CAS No. 25214-70-4);
- arsenic acid (EC No. 231-901-9; CAS No. 7778-39-4);
- bis(2-methoxyethyl) ether (diglyme) (EC No. 203-924-4; CAS No. 111-96-6);
- 2,2'-dichloro-4,4'-methylenedianiline (EC No. 202-918-9; CAS No. 202-14-4);
- dichromium tris(chromate) (EC No. 246-356-2; CAS No. 24613-89-6);
- potassium hydroxyoctaoxodizincatedichromate (EC No. 234-329-6; CAS No. 11103-86-9); and
- pentazinc chromate octahydroxide (EC No. 256-418-0; CAS No. 49663-84-5);
Member States Propose 10 SVHCs
Meanwhile, on Aug. 4 Austria, Denmark, Germany and Sweden filed information to support the nomination of several phthalates and other chemicals among 10 compounds they said should be classified as substances of very high concern.
Those 10 chemicals are:
- bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (EC No. 204-211-0; CAS No. 117-81-7);
- 2-benzotriazol-2-yl-4,6-di-tert-butylphenol (UV-320) (EC No. 223-346-6; CAS No. 3846-71-7);
- dibutyl phthalate (EC No. 201-557-4; CAS No. 84-74-2);
- 2-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4,6-ditertpentylphenol (UV-328) (EC No. 247-384-8; CAS No. 25973-55-1);
- cadmium sulphate (EC No. 233-331-6; CAS Nos. 10124-36-4 and 31119-53-6);
- cadmium fluoride (EC No. 232-222-0; CAS No. 7790-79-6);
- 2-ethylhexyl 10-ethyl-4,4-dioctyl-7-oxo-8-oxa-3,5-dithia-4-stannatetradecanoate; DOTE (EC No. 239-622-4; CAS No. 15571-58-1);
- diisobutyl phthalate (EC No. 201-553-2; CAS No. 84-69-5);
- benzyl butyl phthalate (EC No. 201-622-7; CAS No. 85-68-7); and
- a reaction chemical proposed by Austria.