Ethylene oxide is being recommended for classification as potentially causing allergic skin reactions
Cleanroom chemicals are among the 56 new substances that will be assessed for their potential toxicity to humans and the environment under a draft European Union (EU) Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) for 2014-2016.
The programme is coordinated by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and involves EU member states running studies into chemicals of concern. If these conclude that there are environmental and health problems associated with these substances, then the ECHA will consider whether to recommend that restrictions be imposed on their use across the EU.
Relevant cleanroom chemicals in the new list include glycollic acid; 1-Chlorooctane; and dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether, which are all active products in cleaning products; dicetearyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, a bactericide-algicide; alpha-Amylase, used in non-food pesticides; quaternary ammonium compounds, di-C16-18-alkyldimethyl, chlorides; and ceteardimonium chloride, both of which are bactericides; cleaning agent 1,2,4-triazole; and others.
Meanwhile, the ECHA has released the first results of its initial tranche of CoRAP assessments, with one cleanroom-associated chemical – ethylene oxide – being recommended for classification as potentially causing allergic skin reactions. It is a disinfectant that is often used in hospitals and by the medical equipment sector.
The ECHA said: '[EU] level agreement is needed on an acceptable risk level for workers and the general population with regard to the carcinogenic potential of substances, including ethylene oxide.'
Tributyl phosphate, which is used in fungicides and herbicides and can strip impurities from minerals, was also examined. Here, the CoRAP inquiry concluded that existing EU controls on its use are sufficient.
For a full list of new CoRAP assessments go to: http://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/13628/corap_2014-2016_en.pdf