ECHA Proposes to Restrict Three Benzotriazoles under REACH
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On 18 January 2024, ECHA published a screening report to assess whether the use of these four benzotriazoles in articles, including UV-328, UV 327, UV-350, and UV-320, should be restricted in accordance with REACH Article 69(2). 

ECHA,UV327,UV350,UV320,REACH,benzotriazoles

These four benzotriazoles cover:

Annex XIV entrySubstance NameAbbreviationECCAS NO.Intrinsic property
512-(2Hbenzotriazol-2-yl)- 4,6- ditertpentylphenolUV-328247-384-825973-55-1

PBT

vPvB

52

2,4-di-tert-butyl6-(5-chlorobenzotriazol2-yl) phenol 

UV-327223-383-83864-99-1vPvB
532-(2H-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4-(tert-butyl)-6-(sec-butyl) phenolUV-350253-037-136437-37-3vPvB
542-benzotriazol-2- yl-4,6-di-tertbutylphenolUV-320223-346-63846-71-7

PBT

vPvB

Based on the available evidence, ECHA is considering restricting or prohibiting the use (or presence) of three out of the four substances, including UV-320, UV-350, and UV-327 in articles and preparing an Annex XV dossier for restriction with the following reasons:

  • UV-320, UV-327, and UV-350 are vPvB, or vPvB and PBT substances, and pose a risk to the environment that is not adequately controlled.
  • The threshold below which exposure would be safe cannot be determined; and
  • UV-327, UV-350, and UV-320 have not been proposed to be reviewed under the Stockholm Convention. Therefore, their risks will not be addressed by the EU POP regulation.

In terms of UV-328, ECHA is of the view that at present there is no need to prepare an Annex XV dossier for restriction as the substance is expected to be addressed by the EU POPs regulation.

It is worth mentioning that only UV-328 is registered under the EU REACH regulation with an annual confirmed import volume of approximately 1,000 tonnes. Japan also issued a draft restriction on UV-328 in December 2023 to safeguard public health.

Hazards

The four phenolic benzotriazoles are used as UV absorbers for a wide variety of plastics, rubber, resins, and other organic materials. These substances are not readily or inherently biodegradable and they are therefore considered persistent. They could remain in the environment for long periods and have a high potential to accumulate in biota. ECHA highlighted in its report that once these substances have entered the environment, exposure to them is very difficult to reverse, even if their releases/emissions are stopped.

REACH Authorization and Restriction

Under the EU REACH regulation, REACH authorization (under Annex XIV) and restriction (under Annex XVII) operate concurrently to establish a comprehensive safety protocol.

  • Authorization will restrict the use of certain chemicals by setting temporary use periods. Once the temporary use period has expired, the corresponding substance is prohibited from being sold on the EU market.
  • Restriction is to control the maximum permitted concentration of certain substances in products or to limit their use to certain specific applications.

Typically, restricted substances under Annex XVII will not be listed in the Authorisation List under Annex XIV simultaneously. 

Warm Reminds

The POPs Convention plans to ban UV-328 globally in the coming years. As for UV-320, UV-327, and UV-350, they are currently not regulated outside the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The main purpose of ECHA's action is to effectively reduce the import volume of products containing the aforementioned substances, thereby decreasing the emissions in the environment of EU member states. The final control timeline has not been determined, and ReachCentrum Group will continue to monitor and report on relevant developments.

CIRS C&K Testing offers a comprehensive range of technical testing capabilities to meet the new requirements for multiple UV absorbers. Should you require any assistance, please contact us at test@cirs-group.com.

If you need any assistance or have any questions, please get in touch with us via service@cirs-group.com.

Further Information

ECHA screening report

REACH SVHC Testing