On January 13, 2010, the European Chemicals Agency added 14 substances to its Candidate List of “Substances of Very High Concern” under REACH, nearly doubling the original list of 15. The determination to include new substances on the Candidate List was based on their hazardous properties, the volumes used and the likelihood of exposure to humans or the environment.

A chemical’s placement on the candidate list may lead to the phase out or restriction of that substance. Fifteen chemicals were placed on the Candidate List in October 2008 and, of those, seven were proposed for phase out or restriction in June 2009. The European Commission has not yet adopted a decision banning or restricting any of the substances.

The listing, however, does triggers immediate obligations. For example, suppliers of articles in the EU that contain substances on the Candidate List in a concentration above 0.1% have to provide sufficient information to allow safe use of the article to their customers or upon request, to a consumer within 45 days of the receipt of the request. Suppliers of substances on the Candidate List also have to provide their customers with a safety data sheet. Additional obligations, including future requirements, can be found here.

The 14 substances added to the Candidate List are five variations of anthracene oil and paste, a form of coal tar used in manufacturing electrodes, aluminosilicate refractory ceramic fibers, zirconia aluminosilicate, 2,4-dinitrotoluene, diisobutyl phthalate, lead chromate, tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate, and two lead-based pigments.