Priority Existing Chemical (PEC) Assessments

A Priority Existing Chemical (PEC) is an industrial chemical that has been identified as requiring an assessment because there are reasonable grounds for believing that manufacturing, handling, storing, using or disposing of the chemical could be a risk to health and/or the environment.

There are two categories of PEC assessment:

  • Full assessment—undertaken to determine the risk of adverse health and/or environmental effects that could be caused by importing, manufacturing, using, storing or disposing of the chemical
  • Preliminary assessment—undertaken to determine either the significance of the chemical properties, the intended use, the adverse health or environmental effects, and/or the extent of exposure. (For example, a chemical might be a well-known carcinogen, but the extent of human exposure in Australia could be unknown. A preliminary assessment would allow an investigation to identify the concerns. Further assessment could be necessary.)

Preliminary assessments are denoted by an asterisk (*).

Priority Existing Chemicals can be declared and assessed as a group to increase efficiencies in the assessment process. (For example, the persulfates of ammonia, potassium and sodium were declared in April 1998 for assessment as a group.)

Once a PEC assessment has been published, the chemical is no longer regarded as a Priority Existing Chemical.

Following a chemical assessment by NICNAS, there could be changes in circumstances that would later require particular aspects of a chemical to be re-assessed. This process is called secondary notification and assessment.

Publication of the assessments supports informed and scientifically-based regulatory action.

PEC assessment reports and fact sheets are listed below. The uptake of NICNAS PEC recommendations by Commonwealth, state and territory regulatory bodies was reviewed (as part of an overall evaluation of the PEC program) in 2007–2008. See Uptake of NICNAS’s Priority Existing Chemical Recommendations by Government Chemical Management Bodies.

Reports prior to July 2010 are in pdf format.   If you need help obtaining an accessible version, please contact NICNAS.

PEC reports

Assessment number

Chemical/Trade name

CAS Number

Publication date
(Click date for fact sheet)

PEC/40Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP)185-68-7July 2015
PEC/39Diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP)1
Di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP)1
68515-49-1, 26761-40-0;
117-84-0
May 2015
PEC/38Di(methoxyethyl) phthalate (DMEP)1117-82-8May 2014
PEC/37

Dimethyl phthalate (DMP)1

131-11-3January 2014
PEC/36Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)184-74-2November 2013

PEC/35

Diisononyl phthalate (DINP)1

28553-12-0, 68515-48-0

September 2012

PEC/34

Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD)

25637-99-4, 3194-55-6

June 2012

PEC/33Diethyl phthalate (DEP)184-66-2November 2011

PEC/32

Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP)1

117-81-7

July 2010

PEC/31

Sodium cyanide2

143-33-9

February 2010

PEC/30

Triclosan

3380-34-5

January 2009

PEC/29

Lead compounds used in industrial surface coatings and inks3,4

Various
(15 chemicals)

September 2007

PEC/28

Formaldehyde

50-00-0

November 2006

PEC/27

Tris(2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate (TBPP)

126-72-7

November 2005

PEC/26

Sodium alkylbenzene sulfonate anti-valve seat recession (AVSR) additive

78330-12-8

February 2004

PEC/25

Alkyl phosphate anti-valve seat recession (AVSR) additive

Exempt

July 2003

PEC/24

Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT)

12108-13-3

June 2003

PEC/23

Acrylamide

79-06-1

May 2002

PEC/22

Limonene4,5

5989-27-5,
5989-54-8,
138-86-3

May 2002

PEC/21

Benzene

71-43-2

September 2001

PEC/20

*Polybrominated flame retardants (PBFRs)4

Various
(30 chemicals)

June 2001

PEC/19

*Hydrofluoric acid (HF)

7664-39-3

June 2001

PEC/18

Ammonium, potassium and sodium persulfate in hairdressing4

7727-54-0,
7727-21-1,
7775-27-1

June 2001

PEC/17

*Trisphosphates4

Various
(6 chemicals)

June 2001

PEC/16

*Short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs)4

Various
(6 chemicals)

June 2001

PEC/15

*Tetrachloroethylene

127-18-4

June 2001

PEC/14

ortho-Dichlorobenzene

95-50-1

February 2001

PEC/13

para-Dichlorobenzene

106-46-7

December 2000

PEC/12

*Glycolic acid in cosmetics3

79-14-1

April 2000

PEC/11

N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone (NVP)

88-12-0

February 2000

PEC/10

*Acrylonitrile

107-13-1

February 2000

PEC/9

Chrysotile (white asbestos)

12001-29-5

February 1999

PEC/8

Trichloroethylene

79-01-6

March 2000

PEC/7

1,4-Dioxane

123-91-1

June 1998

PEC/6

2-Butoxyethanol in cleaning products

111-76-2

October 1996

PEC/5s

Sodium ethyl xanthate

140-90-9

February 2000

PEC/5

Sodium ethyl xanthate

140-90-9

May 1995

PEC/4s

2,2-Dichloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane
(HCFC-123
)

306-83-2

July 1999

PEC/4

2,2-Dichloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane (HCFC-123)

306-83-2

March 1996

PEC/3

Glutaraldehyde

111-30-8

July 1994

PEC/2

Savinase – Proteolytic enzymes in detergent4

Various
(4 chemicals)

February 1993

PEC/1s

Triglycidylisocyanurate (TGIC)

2451-62-9

February 2001

PEC/1

Triglycidylisocyanurate (TGIC)

2451-62-9

April 1994

1 Assessment restricted to public health risk from use in cosmetics, children's toys and childcare articles.

2
Assessment restricted to environmental risk.

3 Assessment restricted to human health risk.

4 Group assessments. Refer to PEC report for CAS numbers.

5 CAS No. 138-86-3 (for dl-limonene) replaces the former CAS No. 7705-14-8.

* Preliminary assessments

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