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.


Savinase—proteolytic enzymes in detergents - PEC2 [WORD 2.0 MB]

CAS number(s): 9001-92-7, 9014-01-1, 9073-77-2, 12585-31-8

Published 1 February 1993

The chemical known as 'Savinase', a proteolytic enzyme was declared a priority existing chemical for full assessment on 2 June 1992 (PEC/2). The declaration was limited to the use of proteolytic enzymes in the detergent industry and made on the basis that there were reasonable grounds for believing that manufacture, handling, storage, use and disposal of the chemical could give rise to a risk of adverse health effects, such as asthma.

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


Short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) - PEC16 [WORD 301 KB]

CAS number(s): 68920-70-7, 85535-84-8, 71011-12-6, 85536-22-7, 85681-73-8, 108171-26-2

Published 1 June 2001

Short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) were declared as priority existing chemicals for preliminary assessment on 7 March 2000 (PEC/16) due to the widespread uses and concern about their long term health and environmental impacts. These chemicals persist in the environment and have been shown to be bioaccumulative. SCCPs are mainly used in manufacturing of metal working fluids and a range of products such as fillers, adhesives and coating materials used in the building industry.

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


Sodium alkylbenzene sulfonate anti-valve seat recession (AVSR) additive - PEC26 [WORD 451 KB]

CAS number(s): 78330-12-8

Published 1 February 2004

Anti-valve seat recession (AVSR) fuel additives were declared as priority existing chemicals for full assessment on 5 December 2000 (PEC/26). They were declared due to health and environmental concerns and increasing widespread use in automotive lead replacement petrol (LRP). This report addresses the use of sodium alkylbenzene sulfonate (SAS) as an AVSR additive.


Sodium cyanide - PEC31 [WORD 1.9 MB]

CAS number(s): 143-33-9

Published 1 February 2010

Sodium cyanide (NaCN) was declared a priority existing chemical for full assessment on 7 May 2002 (PEC/31) in response to environmental concerns. The declaration was due to reports of mass bird poisonings as a result of consumption of cyanide, contaminated water at tailings dams, the potential release of toxic and flammable hydrogen cyanide gas when sodium cyanide comes in contact with water, the high acute toxicity to aquatic life, birds and animals, and high chronic toxicity to aquatic life. This assessment was restricted to environmental risk.

For a summary of the assessment read the Sodium cyanide fact sheet.


Sodium ethyl xanthate - PEC5 [WORD 1.5 MB]

CAS number(s): 140-90-9

Published 1 April 1995

Sodium ethyl xanthate was declared a priority existing chemical for full assessment on 6 July 1993 (PEC/5). The declaration was due to potential adverse effects on human health or the environment from manufacture, handling, storage or use of the chemical.The chemical is widely use as a flotation agent in the mining industry.

For a summary of the assessment read the Sodium ethyl xanthate.


Sodium ethyl xanthate—secondary notification - PEC5s [WORD 721 KB]

CAS number(s): 140-90-9

Published 1 February 2000

The focus of this secondary notification assessment (PEC/5s) is the manufacturing process for liquid sodium ethyl xanthate at Coogee Chemicals, Western Australia. The objectives were to assess health and environmental impacts from manufacture, transport and use of liquid sodium ethyl xanthate and the adequacy of current risk management measures.

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Last update 19 September 2019