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/40||Butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP)1||85-68-7||July 2015|
|PEC/39||Diisodecyl phthalate (DIDP)1|
Di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP)1
|PEC/38||Di(methoxyethyl) phthalate (DMEP)1||117-82-8||May 2014|
|PEC/36||Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)1||84-74-2||November 2013|
|PEC/33||Diethyl phthalate (DEP)1||84-66-2||November 2011|
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 assessmentsBack to top