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.


Lead compounds used in industrial surface coatings and inks - PEC29 [WORD 540 KB]

CAS number(s): 1317-36-8; 7758-97-6; 7446-14-2; 10190-55-3; 1344-37-2; 12656-85-8 18454-12-1; 7319-86-0; 301-08-6; 1314-41-6; 10099-74-8; 61790-14-5 1309-60-0; 1319-46-6

Published 1 September 2007

The lead compounds were declared as priority existing chemicals for full assessment on 3 January 2006 (PEC/29). The toxicity of lead, particularly to young children, is well known. Use of lead compounds in domestic surface coatings (paints) has been eliminated in Australia. The assessment focuses on essential industrial uses of these compounds in industrial surface coatings and inks.

For a summary of the assessment read the Lead compounds fact sheet.


Limonene - PEC22 [WORD 1.2 MB]

CAS number(s): 5989-27-5;5989-54-8;138-86-3

Published 1 May 2002

Limonene and its isomers were declared priority existing chemicals for full assessment on 1 August 2000 (PEC/22). The declaration was due to widespread consumer use and their reported effects in the liver and kidneys of animals after repeated exposure and skin and eye irritation. This chemical is used in the formulation of fragrances or flavour blends used in the further formulation of end products.

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

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Last update 7 May 2019