34 bisphenols to be restricted due to their potential hormonal or reprotoxic effects

The ECHA´s Group Assessment of Bisphenols studied 148 compounds and recommended more than 30 bisphenols to be restricted due to their potential damage to human health and the environment.

The Group Assessment grouped together structurally similar substances based on the presence of the “bisphenol” moiety revising a total of 148 substances.


Hazardous to health and the environment

The bisphenols and their derivatives, are known to be potentially hazard for human and environmental health because of their:

  • Their endocrine disrupting properties.
  • Their considered reproductive toxicity.
  • Their capacity to provoke skin sensitization.

In fact, Bisfenol A (BPA) has already a classification as reproductive toxicant for fertility and skin sensitizer, and it is identified as a substance of very high concern (SVHC), included in the Candidate List.

Bisfenol A (BPA) is also included in the Candidate List as SVHC for its endocrine disrupting properties and its reproductive toxicity.

For most of the other group members, ED properties, reproductive toxicity and/or PBT/PvB properties are still to be confirmed and, for many of them, data generation is already ongoing. However, there are also around 30 bisphenols for which no further data can be generated.

In parallel to the activity of the evaluation group, the German authorities are already preparing a proposal to restrict the use of bisphenol A and other bisphenols with endocrine disrupting properties for the environment. Once it is clearer which bisphenols will be covered by the German proposal, ECHA and the European Commission will consider any further need for regulatory action on bisphenols.

Present in our daily life

In addition to their hazardous properties to human/environmental health, another important reason that led to this assessment group is that bisphenols are strongly present in our day to day.

Based on information reported in the REACH registration dossiers, the substances across the different sub-groups have several similar use profiles, and most of them are used as intermediates in the manufacture of polymers or polymer resins.

They are present in the manufacture of widely used items such as thermal papers or photo-litography, inks, coatings, adhesives and in textile, paper and board.

Besides, at industrial sites, it is expected a relatively low exposure, but the exposure potential is higher in professional and personal uses.

Justification for the restriction proposal

Based on the currently available information, there is a need for (further) EU regulatory risk management – Restriction for 34 bisphenols that are known or potential endocrine disruptors for the environment or for human health, or that can be identified as toxic for reproduction.

In fact, at this moment, the German competent authorities are developing a proposal to restrict the emissions of BPA based on its endocrine disrupting properties in the environment, which will also include the restriction of other bisphenols of similar composition.

Pending the final scope of the German proposal and the scope of the universal PFAS restriction, ECHA and the European Commission will consider any further need for regulatory action on bisphenols.

If you want to expand your knowledge of the state of affairs, you can read the full Assessment of regulatory needs here