HAZARD ASSESSMENT OF 1 932 INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS REGISTERED WITHIN REACH
This report was conducted to examine if industrial chemicals present a hazard to the aquatic environment in Europe. Industrial chemicals produced within or imported to the European Union are regulated according to the REACH Regulation and most of them must be registered in the ECHA database. The database containsinformation regarding the chemicals physical and chemical properties, production volumes, release categories, toxicological and ecotoxicological data. Industrial chemicals are produced in large volumes and some are not only toxic but also bioaccumulating and/or persistent. In order to assess the hazard potential these chemicals might present to the environment, the dossiers for all registered chemicals were downloaded, organized and analyzed. Only substances not labeled as mixtures or intermediates and for which ecotoxicological data was available were included in this report. The toxicity of industrial chemicals was compared to the toxicity of groups of chemicals regulated or monitored by other authorities, to see how they ranked. An assessment factor is applied to the aquatic toxicity value to derive a PNEC value and are along with production volume crucial variables in chemical risk assessment. The use and correlation between these variables were analyzed to see if any patterns could be observed. Industrial chemicals with persistent and/or bioaccumulating and/or toxic properties (PBT) were sorted into different subgroups, consisting of substances possessing two or more PBT properties, and their total production volume was calculated. The results from acute and chronic exposure on algae, aquatic invertebrates and fish were compared to see how they correlated to each other, how frequently the different groups were used in toxicity testing and how often the result from one group was used to derive a PNECfreshwater. The result shows that industrial chemicals as a group are less toxic on average than other groups of chemicals compared to. It did however also show that the most toxic industrial chemicals, the lower 5 % percentile, are as toxic on average as many of the other groups of known hazardous compounds. Some of these chemicals were labeled as persistent and/or bioaccumulating and are produced in considerable volumes and could be a threat to the environment. The comparison between different groups of species regarding acute and chronic toxicity showed some indications of correlation, but few definite conclusions could be reached. The use frequency of a species or a group of species in toxicity testing does not necessarily reflect how often the result is used to derive a PNECfreshwater. The choice of species for toxicity testing is primarily dependent on availability and not it’s assumed sensitivity to a chemical.