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Regulatory Review: The Impact of REACH on the United States
By: David C. Steinberg, Steinberg & Associates
Posted: November 26, 2008, from the December 2008 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
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The SIN List
The most controversial speaker at the conference was Daryl Ditz, a senior policy advisor for the nonprofit Center for International Environmental Law. He spoke about the Substitute It Now (SIN) list that was released on Sept. 17, 2008. Ditz gave no indication of what chemicals would be on the list, but said these were chemicals that the International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec) deemed to be “of such high concern that they need to be removed from the market even before REACH has had a chance to review them.”
The SIN list is an NGO-driven project to catalyze the transition to toxic-free products and processes. This list was developed in collaboration with an NGO advisory committee that included: the European Environmental Bureau, the World Wildlife Fund European Policy Office, Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace European Unit, Instituto Sindical de Trabajo Ambiente y Salud, The European Consumer’s Organization, Women in Europe for a Common Future, The Center for International Environmental Law and The Health and Environment Alliance. The list of chemicals can be found at, www.chemsec.org/list/documents/080917_reach_sin_list.pdf.
SIN chemicals are listed by their CAS number, EINECS number, chemical (not INCI) name, and reason for inclusion. These reasons could include:
a) Carcinogenic Category 1 or 2 (C);
b) Mutagenic Category 1 or 2 (M);
c) Toxic for reproduction Category 1 or 2 (R);
d) Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT);
e) Very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB); and
f) Equivalent level of concern, such as endocrine disruptors (Equivalent level of concern).
There are 267 chemicals on the initial list. All of these chemicals meet the REACH definition for Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) and are subject to the greatest scrutiny. The ECHA will create a specific list of these undesirable substances that will compel importers, producers and downstream users to seek special authorization for continued use. Authorization may be denied because REACH contains a provision that could replace some of these dangerous substances with safer alternatives. ChemSec released this SIN list in anticipation of the REACH SVHC list (see Table 1). The SIN list includes the following cosmetic ingredients: