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.

Chemical Gazette May 2019 notice - call for information on PentaBDE

We are currently assessing the human health and environmental risks of pentabromodiphenyl ether (pentaBDE) as a Priority Existing Chemical under sections 57 and 60A of the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 (the ICNA Act). Under section 58 of the ICNA Act, the Director of NICNAS is seeking to obtain the most up to date information on pentaBDE for the purpose of assessing the chemical.  PentaBDE (CAS number: 1163-19-5) was declared a priority existing chemical (PEC) in January 2006, and this declaration remains in force.

See full details of this notice in the May 2019 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.

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 7 May 2019