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EU: European Union launched public consultation on Bisphenols under REACH Annex XVII

DECEMBER 2022 - ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, SOFTLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

On 21 December 2022, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) launched the 1st public consultation1 on the proposal2 to restrict bisphenol A (BPA) and other bisphenols of similar concern for the environment under REACH Annex XVII. 

BPA as well as other bisphenols are known to have endocrine disrupting properties for the environment. Bisphenols, especially BPA, play an important role in the production of polymers and plastics, e.g., polycarbonate (PC), polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Bisphenols are used in a variety of sectors and many applications, e.g., in the transport industry (automotive industry, aviation), in the construction industry, for energy generation (wind turbines), the textile and paper industry, electronics and optics, in packaging, in toys and sports articles, and in a wide range of everyday consumer goods. BPA and bisphenol B (BPB) are identified as substances of very high concern (SVHCs) with endocrine disrupting properties and have been included into Candidate List since 2017 and 2021 respectively. The dossier submitter concluded that the use of bisphenols is not adequately controlled in the EU. Hence, the dossier submitter proposed to restrict bisphenols under REACH Annex XVII aiming to minimise the emissions of bisphenols with endocrine disrupting properties to the environment.

The public consultation will end on 22 June 2023, and the final opinion of ECHA is expected to be available by December 2023. After that, ECHA will send the final opinion to the European Commission (EC), which will make the decision on whether to include the proposed restriction in REACH Annex XVII.

Table A shows the details of proposed restriction.

Table A.  
Restricted substance                  
  • Bisphenol A (BPA) and its salts
  • Bisphenol B (BPB) and its salts
  • Bisphenol S (BPS) and its salts
  • Bisphenol F (BPF) and its salts
  • Bisphenol AF (BPAF) and its salts
Proposed scope of restriction
Mixtures and articles
Proposed limit
Mixtures, articles: < 10 mg/kg for sum of all restricted bisphenols
Proposed exemption
  • Mixtures and articles where the listed bisphenols are either covalently bound to any type of matrix (e.g. via functioning as a cross-linker) or are used as intermediates in the manufacture of polymers, and for which:
    • contact to aqueous media in any form can be excluded during their reasonable and foreseeable use throughout their service life or;
    • the migration limit in the respective mixtures and articles does not exceed 0.04 mg/L over the entire service life.
  • Specific products under the following concentration limits:
    • 150 mg/kg for the recycling of paper for 78 months;
    • 50 mg/kg for fluoroelastomers for 10 years; 
    • 150 mg/kg for polycarbonates (PC);
    • 65 mg/kg for the placing on the market of articles manufactured with solid and semi-solid epoxy resins and concentration limit of 1 ppm for epoxy resin mixtures intended for consumer use; 
    • 500 mg/kg for leather articles and mixtures used for the tanning of leather for 5 years.
Proposed date of application
18 months after the date of entry into force 

 

 

[1] Public consultation summary

[2] Report submitted for the restriction proposal

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