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.


Draft PEC assessment on Decabromodiphenyl Ether (decaBDE)

The focus of our draft report is on our assessment of risks to:

  • workers handling decaBDE or its products
  • the general public coming in contact directly or indirectly with articles containing decaBDE and
  • to the environment.

Download Draft PEC report for Decabromodiphenyl Ether (decaBDE) [Word 20.MB]
Publish date: 1 March 2019

Consultation on this report closes on 1 April 2019. See further information about this consultation in our March Chemical Gazette.


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.


Formaldehyde - PEC28 [WORD 5.4 MB]

CAS number(s): 50-00-0

Published 1 November 2006

Formaldehyde was declared a priority existing chemical for full assessment on 5 March 2002 (PEC/28) in response to occupational and public health concerns. Formaldehyde is mainly used for the manufacture of formaldehyde-based resins, which are widely used in a variety of industries, such as the wood industry. Formaldehyde is also used directly or in formulations in a number of industries including medicine-related industries (such as forensic/hospital mortuaries and pathology laboratories), embalming in funeral homes, film processing, textile treatments, leather tanning, and a wide range of personal care and consumer products.

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

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Last update 19 March 2019