REACH identifies four EDCs

HCWH Europe warmly welcomes the EU´s decision to identify DEHP, BBP, DBP, and DIBP as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) for humans under the EU’s REACH Regulation. The decision was made at the meeting of the REACH Committee on 16th February 2017.

Whilst the full decision was approved by a qualified majority of the EU Member States, the Member States Committee of the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) “unanimously acknowledged that for DEHP, BBP, DBP, and DIBP there is scientific evidence on the endocrine activity and on the link between this activity and the adverse effects to human health and further”. ECHA also agreed that these substances “can be considered endocrine disruptors for human health as they fulfil the WHO/IPCS definition for an endocrine disruptor”, this is further supported by recommendations from the European Commission’s Expert Advisory Group for identifying substances as endocrine disruptors.

As a result, these chemicals (DEHP, BBP, DBP, and DIBP) should be identified under Article 57 (f) of the REACH Regulation as substances of very high concern. This identification is specifically due to their endocrine disrupting properties (for which there is scientific evidence of probable serious effects to human health).

This news is particularly pleasing as HCWH Europe has been active in tackling the health issues linked to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), specifically focussing on medical devices. Annex I, 7.4.1 (b) of the new Medical Devices Regulation explicitly states that substances having endocrine disrupting properties will also be identified through the REACH process. We therefore welcome this decision as a promising first step to develop horizontal measures that will ensure the minimisation of EDC exposure.

These chemicals are present in several materials on the EU market, including the following products often found in healthcare settings:

  • Flooring and heavy wall covering
  • Insulation on wires and cables
  • Plastic tubing, conveyors, storage, and packaging materials
  • Tablecloth, curtains and similar items made of PVC film or coated fabrics
  • Plastic coated wallpaper/tapestry

Find more about the use of these chemicals in articles on the EU market here


Preview image: Sebastien Bertrand via Flickr cc