12 REACH substances of very high concern will be phased out within the next four years

On 14th June the European Commission announced that 12 substances of very high concern will be phased out from the EU market within the next four years.

In December 2016 a committee of member state experts backed the inclusion of the 12 reprotoxic, carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting substances in the authorisation list of the EU REACH Regulations.

The dates from which the sale and use of a range of substances of very high concern will be forbidden have now been published in the EU’s Official Journal.

Following the ban the chemicals will only be allowed for specific uses and manufacturers will need to submit an application for approval to the European Commission if they wish to use them.

Substances banned from July 2020 include the following:

  • 1-bromopropane
  • Diisopentylphthalate
  • 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, di-C6-8-branched alkyl esters, C7 rich
  • 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, di-C7-11-branched and linear alkyl esters
  • 1,2-Benzenedicarboxylic acid, dipentylester, branched and linear
  • Bis(2-methoxyethyl) phthalate
  • Dipentylphthalate
  • N-pentyl-isopentylphthalate


Substances banned from October 2020 include the following:

  • Anthracene oil
  • Pitch, coal tar, high temp;


Substances banned from January 2021:

  • 4-(1,1,3,3-Tetramethylbutyl)phenol, ethoxylated (covering well-defined substances and UVCB substances, polymers and homologues)
  • 4-Nonylphenol, branched and linear, ethoxylated


Unlike some chemicals such as flame retardant decaBDE, these restrictions do not allow for exemptions for certain industries or products. However, spare parts used for product repairs will be given until March 2021 to comply to avoid the premature obsolescence of items, says the Commission.

Against the recommendation of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the EU Executive chose not to pursue bans for four other substance groups which included four repro-toxic boron substances including boric acid and repro-toxic solvent N,N-dimethylformamide.

A decision on banning carcinogenic, asbestos-like aluminosilicate and zirconia aluminosilicate refractory ceramic fibres has also been put back.

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