Control laws such as EU REACH, US TSCA, etc. typically manage chemicals by placing them on inventories, registries, and/or lists.
For information on regulations in countries other than the ones mentioned below, please contact your ExxonMobil Chemical sales representative or distributor.
Chemical legislations rely on identifying and characterizing substances from their composition and analytical information.
The Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry is the historical database containing information on hundreds of thousands of chemical substances, including organic and inorganic compounds, minerals, isotopes, alloys and nonstructurable materials or UVCBs (substances of Unknown or Variable composition, Complex reaction products or Biological material). Each substance is identified by a CAS number.
The issue with characterizing UVCB substances using CAS descriptions only
In the case of UVCB substances, such as complex hydrocarbon solvents, characterization is often a challenge because of their complex origin and unknown and/or variable composition. The CAS description system in place can create confusion for two main reasons:
- The descriptions are broad and do not precisely describe hydrocarbon fluids that have narrower hydrocarbon ranges, additional processing steps compared to petroleum-based products and hence different hazard profiles and classifications
- One single hydrocarbon fluid substance may have different CAS numbers, either because of the source of production or because of the process by which it is manufactured
Alternative naming convention proposed by HSPA in 2011
This confusion was addressed in Europe when, in 2011, the Hydrocarbon Solvents Producers Association (HSPA) proposed an alternative naming system to characterize each hydrocarbon solvent with a qualitative and quantitative description of their composition to allow similar substances to be clearly identified, as required by the REACH regulation. This description or name is now used in Europe alongside CAS descriptions, which remain an official reference.
- All UVCB solvent substances were registered under EU REACH using this new identity, which uses a qualitative and quantitative description of their composition
- A new EC number was supplied by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA). It can be easily differentiated from the former EINECS/ELINCS as it is a 7-digit number systematically starting with 9xx-xxx-x
- Substances comprised of a single chemical species such as n-pentane, isopentane keep their EINECS#
On the EU safety data sheets of its complex hydrocarbon solvents, ExxonMobil Chemical indicates:
- Product name (following the naming convention) and EC# in Section 3 (“Composition/ information on ingredients”)
- CAS# in Section 15 ("Regulatory information") in Europe and Section 3 outside Europe
- A scientific review article on the characterization of toxicological hazards of hydrocarbon solvents published in the Critical Reviews in Toxicology provides insight into the new naming convention for hydrocarbon solvents and how narrow manufacturing and/or technical specifications dictate the constituent composition and hazards
The OECD aligns with the REACH naming convention hydrocarbon solvents
In January 2016, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a harmonized method for characterizing hydrocarbon solvents for the purpose of hazard assessment which is in line with the Hydrocarbon Solvents Producers Association (HSPA) naming convention now used in Europe alongside the historical Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry system.
- The method allows UVCB hydrocarbon solvents to be identified accurately and consistently according to their composition.
- It ensures that substances with the same chemical composition, manufactured in different countries, can be characterized with the same description for hazard assessment purposes.
This important decision helps pave the way to a consistent, global approach to characterizing complex hydrocarbon solvents. It will enable regulatory authorities to cooperate more efficiently in the field of hazard assessment and help industry deal more easily with regulatory requirements, especially in:
- Sharing data
- Collaboration on hazard assessment between multiple producers or countries
- Chemical name searching
- Harmonization of classification and labeling of substances
For more detail, see OECD Guidance for Characterizing Hydrocarbon Solvents for Assessment Purposes
For additional information, please contact your sales representative
Some of these inventories include:
- TSCA - United States Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory
- EINECS – European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances
- DSL - Canadian Domestic Substance List
- ACIS - Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances
- KECI - Korea Existing Chemicals Inventory
- ENCS - Japan Handbook of Existing and New Chemical Substances
- PICCS - Philippines Inventory of Chemicals and Chemical Substances
- IECSC - Inventory of Existing Chemical Substances in China
- NZIoC - New Zealand Inventory of Chemicals
- REACH - Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals in the EU
- TSCA CDR - TSCA Chemical Data Reporting in the US
- SVHC - Substances of Very High Concern in the EU
- TRI - Toxics Release List in the US
- 2nd Schedule of EPMA – List of controlled hazardous substances per the Environmental Protection and Management Act in Singapore
In this section
- GHS of classification and labeling
- The OECD chemicals safety program
Chemical management programs
- General principles
- REACH in Europe
- REACH for non-EU manufacturers
- TSCA in the United States
- California Proposition 65
- Japanese law on chemical substances
- China provisions on new chemical substances
- Canadian Environmental Protection Act
- Australia Industrial Chemicals Act
- Turkey KKDIK
- The Act on Registration and Evaluation of Chemicals in Korea
- TCSCA in Taiwan
- Swiss Chemicals Ordinance (or ChemO)
- Thailand's First Existing Chemicals Inventory
- VOC regulations
- Transport regulations
- Food contact regulations
- Other regulations
- Safety data sheets