Norway has added new chemicals of concern to a national list of priority substances. This follows a proposal by the country's Environment Agency last year.
The decision to update the so-called 'offender list' was published in the national budget for 2017 after the government presented it to Parliament, Heidi Morka, head of chemicals at the agency, told Chemical Watch.
The newcomers to the list of priority substances are:
four benzotriazole UV stabilisers: UV-320, UV-327, UV-328 and UV-350;
dibutyltin (DBT) and dioctyltin (DOT); and
perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS) and its related substances.
The agency says the benzotriazole stabilisers – which can be used to protect materials from solar UV rays – are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB). They are also on the REACH candidate list as SVHCs.
DBT and DOT are used in certain adhesives and plastic products and have similar 'harmful effects' like their 'sister' substance group TBT already on the priority list, the agency says. It adds that they have PBT properties and are potential endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and can affect reproduction.
PFHxS and its related substances are vPvB and are suspected of being EDCs, according to the agency. They are used widely in firefighting foam, carpets and textiles, electronics and non-stick cookware.
The new additions to the list means that "emissions of these pollutants will be eliminated or substantially reduced by 2020 and that the industry will undertake to find safer alternatives," Ellen Hambro, director of the Environment Agency, said in a statement.
Norway's list contains more than 30 chemicals and groups of chemicals with PBT, vPvB and endocrine disrupting properties.
Those on the list are not regulated, but it serves as a basis for eliminating their release by 2020. It is also an "important base" that helps the agency prioritise regulatory proposals under REACH and CLP, and also for its work under the UN Stockholm Convention, Ms Morka said.