For Immediate Release
Hundreds of US Chemicals and Companies Will Be Impacted by European Union REACH Regulation
Report identifies companies in US making chemicals called dangerous by EU
WASHINGTON - Hundreds
of companies located in 37 of the 50 United States produce or import
hundreds of chemicals designated as dangerous by the European Union
(EU). As a result, these companies will be directly affected by
controls imposed under the EU's new chemicals regulation, concludes
Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in a report released today, Across the Pond: Assessing REACH's First Big Impact on U.S. Companies and Chemicals.
report finds that many of the hundreds of chemicals already identified
as dangerous by the EU are being produced or imported in the United
States in large amounts and at many different sites. The findings
provide compelling evidence for the U.S. Congress to protect public
health by reforming the nation's primary chemical safety law, the
32-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act.
fact that so many chemicals already designated as dangerous by EU
officials are actively being produced and used in the United States
should dispel any notion that the problem is limited to only a few 'bad
actors,'" said Richard A. Denison, Ph.D., EDF Senior Scientist
and author of the report. "Toxic chemicals grabbing recent headlines -
such as bisphenol A used in baby bottles and food cans, phthalates used
in kids' toys, and flame retardants used in furniture - are just the
tip of the iceberg in terms of chemicals that demand scrutiny."
report serves as an early warning to companies making and using these
dangerous chemicals that they will be at a competitive disadvantage
unless they proactively seek to eliminate exposures and develop safer
alternatives," Denison cautioned. "Scrutiny of these chemicals is only
going to grow, so chemical companies should support efforts to
modernize the decades-old U.S. chemicals policy that has shielded
chemicals from needed testing and appropriate control."
year, the EU adopted its sweeping new chemicals regulation -
Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals
(REACH) - under which companies must register all chemicals they place
on the EU market in amounts above one metric ton. A hallmark of REACH
is its identification of so-called "substances of very high concern"
(SVHCs). REACH's intent is ultimately to allow use of such SVHCs only
when each use has been specifically authorized.
requirements will fully apply to U.S. companies that make chemicals for
the EU market," Denison concluded. "This report is the first to
determine which companies report making SVHCs in the United States.
Once these chemicals become subject to REACH's authorization
requirements, these companies will need permission from EU officials to
sell them in the EU."
based its analysis on a list of nearly 300 SVHCs issued last week by
the International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec), a Swedish
nongovernmental organization. ChemSec dubbed its list the "SIN List,"
for "Substitute It Now," which reflects the group's interest in
promoting safer alternatives to SVHCs wherever possible. The list
represents the first effort to identify the range of chemicals expected
to be subject to authorization under REACH.
compared the SIN List to the most recent publicly available data from
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that identifies which
companies reported making or importing these chemicals in the United
States. EDF found that many, and likely most, of the SIN List chemicals
are manufactured or imported in the United States.
Other findings of EDF's report include:
List chemicals are produced or imported in 37 states as well as Puerto
Rico and the Virgin Islands, at as many as 78 sites per state (see Tables 3 and 4 on page 36 of this document).
- The number of SIN List chemicals per state varies from 1 to 37.
- Eight states have at least a dozen SIN List chemicals: New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Ohio, New York, North Carolina, Kentucky and Michigan.
the United States, at least 85 SIN List chemicals are produced annually
in amounts of one million or more pounds, and at least 14 exceed one billion pounds annually.
- At least 173 companies are producing or importing SIN List chemicals in the United States.
- Some companies are associated with many SIN List chemicals-as many as 21 per company.
- The five companies reporting making the most SIN List chemicals are Dow, DuPont, Chemtura, Equistar and BASF.
SIN List chemicals are produced or imported by multiple companies at
numerous sites-as many as 36 companies at 52 separate sites. The five
chemicals with the most companies and sites are benzene, formaldehyde,
styrene, hexane and 1,3-butadiene.
also found that only about a third of the SVHCs on the U.S. Toxic
Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory have been tested under TSCA.
Only two - asbestos and hexavalent chromium - have been regulated
under TSCA, and even these only under narrow conditions.
used the most recent publicly available data, which were collected by
EPA in 2002 for calendar year 2001. Given the dynamic nature of the
chemical market, some of the data in this report may have changed. In addition, because EPA allows companies to claim the identities of chemicals they produce, as well as their own identities, to be confidential business information, this report only includes chemicals and companies that are not claimed to be confidential business information.
EDF analysis is consistent with a report just issued by Innovest
that used the SIN List to assess, on a global basis, the financial
risks and opportunities facing companies producing such chemicals.