In 1998, the global chemical industry, led by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), set itself the goal of providing data and initial hazard assessments to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for approximately 1,000 High Production Volume (HPV) chemicals produced at > 1,000 mt/y, that represent more than 90 % of global chemicals production

The information gathered consists of a Screening Information Data Set (SIDS) Dossier, which is a basic set of health and environment data required for making an initial hazard assessment of HPV chemicals by the member countries of the OECD. SIDS data are used to "screen" the chemicals and set priorities for further testing or risk assessment.

The HPV programme was facing several challenges. The demands placed on company resources by REACH, the European chemicals legislation, had limited industry's ability in the EU and outside to move more rapidly on its HPV commitments. In 2014 the OECD stopped sponsoring the HPV programme, and started the OECD Cooperative Chemicals Assessment Programme (CoCAP)to better respond to the changing needs of member countries; it addresses a number of member country challenges, such as dealing with more chemicals in a shorter period of time, addressing all chemicals on the market, and avoiding duplication of on-going work in other countries.


ECSA was committed to lead the HPV initiative for their substances and actively supported the Swiss authorities in preparing high quality SIDS dossiers for Methylene Chloride and Carbon Tetrachloride. The conclusions were agreed by the OECD in 2011, and SIAPs (SIDS Initial Assessment Profile) & SIARs (SIDS Initial Assessment Report) prepared; the SIAPs can be retrieved on the public OECD Existing Chemicals Database website.

Last update: 02/2018

TRI Authorisations granted

September 2018

Trichloroethylene (TRI) can be used safely under controlled conditions. Five authorisations have been granted to BlueCube Germany (a subsidiary of Olin) to continue to produce TRI for specific uses, for example Industrial Parts Cleaning. Customers of this producer can use TRI for these applications under the conditions set by the EU Commission and the defined risk management measures.


UBA PMT criteria published

February 2018

The German Environment Agency (UBA, Umweltbundesamt) has published the assessment of "Persistence, Mobility and Toxicity (PMT)" with the desire to protect drinking water sources. Applying conservative criteria for PMT as defined by UBA, perchloroethylene (PER) and trichloroethylene (TRI) appear as number 2 and 3 on the report. UBA also aims to establish PMT as an equivalent concern to identify SVHC substance for authorisation under REACH. ECSA does not consider SVHC identification using PMT criteria as the appropriate tool to improve drinking water quality due to this being a pure hazard based approach and thus does not consider risk. TRI is already listed in Annex XIV (authorisation) and today PER is handled almost exclusively in closed systems with no intentional emission to water or soil. For further information see the ECSA position paper on PER here.


New Study on Dichloromethane

February 2018

Together with HSIA, ECSA supported a study to clarify the mode of action of cancer formation for Dichloromethane (DCM). The study results have been published end of 2018. The outcome of the study shows that below the threshold there is no risk of cancer formation related to DCM.

The full paper is available here.


DCM & the Ozone Layer

November 2017 

Dichloromethane (DCM) is a highly Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) with a short atmospheric lifetime of only 0.4 years, hence defined as a Very Short Lived Substance (VSLS), but a negligible Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). Recent publications (e.g. Hossaini et al.) discussed the effect of DCM on the stratospheric ozone, which postulated a high future growth rate of global DCM production and emissions, which led to discussions to include DCM into the Montreal Protocol on the protection of the ozone layer. ECSA and HSIA have provided factual information on global production and emissions by industry, global natural production, behaviour and effect on the stratospheric ozone, and other regulatory developments at a UNEP meeting on the Montreal Protocol in Nov 2017 (available here), based on a scientific assessment of Archie McCulloch (full paper available here; a one-pager summary is also available here).