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ChemSec adds to its “SIN List” of chemicals

EcoNote | November 18, 2019 | By:

ChemSec, the International Chemical Secretariat, has revealed the latest additions of industrial chemicals to its SIN (Substitute It Now) List, a recent news release says. The organization urges manufacturers and others to make substitutions for more than 900 chemicals the organization says should be avoided in the global supply chain. 

ChemSec expects the additions of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and carbon nanotubes to the SIN List to set a new standard for sustainable chemicals management.

PFAS are used in a wide variety of products including water-resistant clothes. According to the release, several thousand PFAS are in use around the world and many of them belong to a newly recognized category of chemicals identified as persistent, mobile and toxic (PMTs). Because of their specific properties and use, the substances can be present around facilities that manufacture products using PFAS and can then leach into groundwater. The chemicals also show up in drinking water, typically localized and associated with a specific facility (e.g., manufacturer, landfill, wastewater treatment plant).

ChemSec labels the compounds “forever chemicals,” because the organization says these do not break down in nature. It urges smart manufacturers to begin phasing out use of the chemicals. 

The SIN List also now includes carbon nanotubes. First engineered in the 1990s, they are used to make durable, lightweight materials and for electrical conductivity, and are suspected of causing illness in humans, the release says.

The SIN List has been developed by the nonprofit ChemSec in collaboration with scientists and technical experts, as well as an advisory committee of environmental, health and consumer organizations.

Sources: ChemSec and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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