Priority Existing Chemical 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.

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.

Read more about priority existing chemicals

Most PEC assessments are accompanied by an easy-to-understand fact sheet which summarises key recommendations for a non-scientific audience.

List of PECS

The assessments are in alphabetical order by chemical or trade name. Click on a letter in the list or use the page links. A name that begins with a number can be found in 1,2,3...

Chemical/trade name: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1,2,3...

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Click on the chemical/trade name to download the scientific assessment.


1,4-Dioxane - PEC7 [WORD 2.3 MB]

CAS number(s): 123-91-1

Published 1 June 1998

1,4-Dioxane was declared a priority existing chemical for full assessment on 3 May 1994 (PEC/7) due to concerns over possible human carcinogenicity, its potential for widespread occupational and public exposure and high degree of partitioning to, and persistence in, the aquatic environment. In Australia, 1,4-dioxane is used as a solvent in chemical synthesis, research and analysis (mainly laboratory applications) and in adhesive products used in celluloid film processing.

For a summary of the assessment read the Dioxane fact sheet.


2,2-Dichloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane (HCFC-123) - PEC4 [WORD 1.4 MB]

CAS number(s): 306-83-2

Published 1 March 1996

2,2-dichloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane (hydrochlorofluorocarbon 123 or HCFC-123), was declared a priority existing chemical for full assessment on 1 June 1993 (PEC/4). As a result of the phase out of chlorofluorocarbons (particularly CFC-11 and CFC-12), there is a potential for a significant increase in the use of HCFC-123 in Australia. A study undertaken by Du Pont Chemicals (USA) revealed an increase in benign tumours (multiple site) in rats following chronic inhalation exposure to HCFC-123. HCFC-123 can break down in the lower atmosphere leading to the formation of persistent acidic substances, such as trifluoroacetic acid.

For a summary of the assessment read the HCFC-123 fact sheet.


2,2-Dichloro-1,1,1-trifluoroethane (HCFC-123)—secondary notification - PEC4s [WORD 2.9 MB]

CAS number(s): 306-83-2

Published 1 July 1999

In 1997 two introducers notified NICNAS of the availability of new information with regard to the adverse health effects of HCFC-123 which was considered sufficient to warrant a reassessment of its hazards and risks and in particular its carcinogenic hazard and cardiac sensitisation effect. As a result reassessment of HCFC-123 was annnounced on 2 September 1997 (PEC/4s). This assessment focuses on human health risks.


2-Butoxyethanol in cleaning products - PEC6 [WORD 483 KB]

CAS number(s): 111-76-2

Published 1 October 1996

The chemical 2-butoxyethanol was declared a priority existing chemical for full assessment on 5 April 1994 (PEC/6). The declaration was specific for the use of 2-butoxyethanol in cleaning products. The declaration was made on the basis that there were reasonable grounds for believing that the formulation, handling and use of cleaning products containing 2-butoxyethanol may give rise to a risk of adverse health effects.

For a summary of the assessment read the 2-Butoxyethanol fact sheet.

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Last update 29 July 2018