On 9 May 2014, the EU’s Official Journal published Regulation 474/2014 which adds the use of 1,4-dichlorobenzene (“DCB”) in air fresheners and deodorisers to Annex XVII of Regulation 1907/2006 concerning the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (“REACH Regulation”). Annex XVII to the REACH Regulation sets out the restrictions on the manufacture, placing on the market and use of certain dangerous chemical substances, mixtures and articles.

As a result of this change, DCB must not be placed on the market or used, as a substance or as a constituent of mixtures in a concentration equal to or greater than 1% by weight, where the substance or the mixture is placed on the market for use or used as an air freshener or deodoriser in toilets, homes, offices or other indoor public areas.

The new restriction on DCB is the result of a long process which started in 2003 with a risk assessment carried out by the French authorities and which culminated recently in the submission by the European Chemicals Agency to the European Commission (“Commission”) of two opinions advocating the restriction of DCB. The restriction will apply from 1 June 2015.

Regulation 474/2014 can be accessed here