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.


Glutaraldehyde - PEC3 [WORD 5.9 MB]

CAS number(s): 111-30-8

Published 1 July 1994

Glutaraldehyde was declared a priority existing chemical for full assessment on 2 March 1993 (PEC/3) due to concerns of adverse health effects, such as significant skin, respiratory and eye irritation, as well as skin sensitisation. It is widely used in a number of industries, especially in the health care industry in disinfectants.

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


Glycolic acid in cosmetics - PEC12 [WORD 425 KB]

CAS number(s): 79-14-1

Published 1 April 2000

Glycolic acid was declared a priority existing chemical for preliminary assessment on 7 April 1998 (PEC/12). The declaration was due to concern about the health effects of the chemical following consumer complaints that some cosmetic products containing glycolic acid caused irritation of the skin. The declaration applied to cosmetic uses of the chemical.

For a summary of the assessment read the Glycolic acid fact sheet.

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Last update 29 July 2018