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.


ortho-Dichlorobenzene - PEC14 [WORD 475 KB]

CAS number(s): 95-50-1; Benzene, 1,2-dichloro-

Published 1 February 2001

ortho-Dichlorobenzene (ortho-DCB) was declared a priority existing chemical for full assessment on the 7 April 1998 (PEC/14). The declaration of ortho-DCB was in response to health and environmental concerns due to its widespread use as a degreasing agent. Industrial uses in Australia include formulations as paint removers, as a degreaser (for grease traps, drains and automotive parts) and as a decarboniser in the automotive and marine industries.

For a summary of the assessment read the o-DCB fact sheet.

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Last update 7 May 2019