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Press release - “SIN List” advance will contribute to reducing chronic disease

Brussels, 8 October 2014 – Today, 28 more chemicals are being added to the SIN List of chemicals of “high concern”. The SIN List has also been divided into 31 groups based on structure and toxic properties to give a better overview of the chemicals. (See ChemSec press release and invitation to event pasted below).

The chemicals on the SIN List require priority action to protect health and the environment.

HEAL welcomes developments related to the SIN List as an important move to encourage companies to produce products that do not contain harmful chemicals, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Lisette van Vliet, HEAL’s Senior Policy Adviser on chemicals and chronic disease prevention, and a member of the SIN advisory team, says:

"Toxic chemicals have often been replaced by equally-harmful, closely-related chemicals, many of which are also endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). So HEAL welcomes the division of the SIN List into 31 chemical groups, including bisphenols, phthalates and perfluorinated compounds to help identify the groupings whose members may have properties of concern’’.

“EDCs disrupt the human endocrine system adding to risks of cancer, diabetes, obesity and infertility in adults, and these effects can also be transmitted to second generations through exposure in the womb."

HEAL’s project, Chemical Health Monitor, provides a regular newsletter and online source of information on chemicals and disease, available in Englishand German.

Contacts (both of whom are taking part in the launch meeting on Wednesday 8 October 2014):

Lisette van Vliet, Senior Policy Advisor on chemicals and chronic disease prevention, Health and Environment Alliance, 28 blvd. Charlemagne, 1000-Brussels, Belgium. E-mail: Mobile: +32 495 808732.

Genon Jensen, Executive Director, Health and Environment Alliance, E-mail: Mobile: +32 495 808732.

Press release

SIN List update including new tool for sustainable substitution

Brussels, 8 October 2014, Since 2008 the SIN List has been highlighting chemicals of high concern that are likely to be subject to future EU regulation, and as a result it has been recognised as an important driver for innovation. Today´s update lists an additional 28 chemicals for priority action and takes one step further by launching SINimilarity – a tool for identifying SIN-like chemicals and thereby avoiding non-sustainable substitution.

In recent decades a number of hazardous chemicals have been put under the spotlight and become a target for regulatory action and phase-out. This has often been successful, but in some cases the substitutes have later been shown to have similar hazardous properties as the problematic chemicals they replaced. Finding ways to avoid this and enable chemical substitution to spur on sustainable innovation will be discussed today in Brussels at a conference entitled “SINnovation – keys for the future”.

The update of the SIN List adds 28 substances to the list. Many of these are chemicals that have been used to replace better known hazardous substances, but are in fact just as problematic. For example, the hormone-disrupting chemicals Bisphenol F and Bisphenol S have now been included on the SIN List. These substances have been frequently used to replace one of the most commonly used chemicals globally, Bisphenol A. Modified versions of already regulated brominated flame retardants and fluorinated chemicals have also been added.

– Developing products without harmful chemicals is about producing for the future. This is the direction EU chemicals regulation REACH as well as industry front-runners are taking. Today’s SIN List update focuses on sustainable innovation, on developing products that are truly safer in the long run, says ChemSec director Anne-Sofie Andersson.

To give a better overview of the chemicals, the SIN List has now also been divided 31 groups based on structure and toxic properties. Examples of these groups are bisphenols, phthalates and perfluorinated compounds.

The grouping has also served as the base for a new tool – SINimilarity. This online tool makes it possible to search among 80,000 chemicals and find out if they are similar to any of the chemicals on the SIN List.

– For chemicals that are similar to the SIN List chemicals we recommend further investigations before use, comments Dr Lars Swanson, responsible for the grouping of SIN List chemicals at ChemSec.

The SIN List update and the SINimilarity tool will be presented today in Brussels at the conference “SINnovation – keys for the future”, where policy makers, scientists, companies and investment analysts will give their views on how chemical regulation encourages innovation and how to avoid regrettable substitution.

– Besides facilitating the task of SIN List users, the grouping of the SIN List and the SINimilarity tool aim to spark debate about what kind of chemicals regulation we need for the future. REACH is based on a chemical-by-chemical approach, but future chemicals legislation also needs to act on groups of similar chemicals, says Dr Anna Lennquist, ChemSec toxicologist.

For more information, please contact

Anne-Sofie Andersson, ChemSec Director, +46 730 416 622

Anna Lennquist, ChemSec Toxicologist, +46 705 724 750

Amanda Huss, ChemSec Communications,, +46 31 711 0152


ChemSec – the organisation behind the SIN List is a non-profit organisation working to substantially reduce the use of hazardous chemicals and its impact on health and the environment. We speed up legislative processes, encourage companies and financial investors to move away from hazardous chemicals and act as a catalyst for progressive dialogue and action. ChemSec was founded in 2002 by environmental organisations and is funded by grants from authorities and foundations.

EU chemicals regulation REACH states in article 57 that Substances of Very High Concern are substances that are either 1) carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMR substances), 2) persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic (PBT substances), or 3) substances which give rise to an equivalent level of concern.

The SIN List (Substitute It Now!), first presented in 2008, lists chemicals that ChemSec has identified as Substances of Very High Concern based on the criteria established by REACH. The aim of the SIN List is to spark innovation towards products without hazardous chemicals by speeding up legislative processes and giving guidance to companies and other stakeholders on which chemicals to start substituting. It has been recognised by the European Commission as a main driver for innovation and is a concrete tool used by both regulators and companies globally.

The SIN List is developed by ChemSec in cooperation with other leading environmental, health, women and consumer organisations mainly in Europe but also in the US: The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), CHEM Trust, Clean Production Action (CPA), ClientEarth, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Friends of the Earth Europe, Greenpeace European Unit, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF).

Both the SIN List and SINimilarity are free-of-charge online tools available at

The invitation and agenda for “SINnovation – keys for the future” at the Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie in Brussels on 8 October, 9.00 -17.00, can be found at For interviews and other press enquiries during the event, please contact Amanda Huss, ChemSec Communications,, +46 31 711 0152.

Last updated on 10 October 2014

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The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


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