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Defra issues rationale for UK REACH priorities

13th Jul 2022

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Following the publication of the UK 2022/2023 work programme, Defra has published a policy paper to explain priorities for REACH restriction and Regulatory Management Options Analysis.


The five priorities and their associated rationale are:


Priority Rationale
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) RMOA to be published shortly. Some PFAS are persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic and are widely used.
Intentionally added microplastics Microplastics are often added to products, but their risks are not well characterised. Risks are associated with human health and the environment.
Formaldehyde and formaldehyde releasers in articles Imported wood panels do not often meet the voluntary standard for wood-based panels, a primary source of formaldehyde emissions, which is in place for European and British manufacturers.
Bisphenols in thermal paper Bisphenol A is currently restricted, however many manufacturers have substituted this Bisphenol A for other bisphenols, including Bisphenol S, which have a similar hazard profile.
Hazardous flame retardants Although some flame retardants are restricted, many manufacturers have substituted these for non-restricted flame retardants with a similar hazard profile.


Rationale is also provided for substances not prioritised for action under UK REACH. These include substances where voluntary standards are effective or risks were currently being evaluated in other countries.


Companies should review their use of the priority substances in their products and ensure that their risk management procedures are effective.


Rationale for prioritising substances in the UK REACH work programme, 2022 to 2023 – GOV.UK (


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