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Chemicals for Priority Action

The List of Chemicals for Priority Action in its current form was adopted in 2002. There are currently 42 substances or groups of substances on the List of Chemicals for Priority Action. OSPAR action is focused on the substances on Part A of the List. For each of these substances or groups of substances a background document has been prepared (see below). Since 2002 the list has been revised to reflect removal of substances from this list, as well as the List of Substances of Possible Concern.

The Background Documents assess the situation for the substance and conclude on what actions OSPAR should take to move towards the cessation target. They are reviewed periodically, resulting in review statements or revised Background Documents, depending on whether the new information available affects the risk evaluation and the recommended actions.

OSPAR has adopted monitoring strategies for the hazardous substances for which background documents have been prepared. These describe information to be collected in order to monitor progress towards the cessation target.

In 2004, OSPAR has decided not to systematically run DYNAMEC for the selection and prioritisation of substances, because the evaluation of chemicals and their properties was sufficiently covered by EU legislation. In the work on substances of possible concern, OSPAR is relying on progress on the evaluation of substances under the REACH Regulation and on the priorisation of substances under the Water Framework Directive.

Download here the OSPAR List of Chemicals for Priority Action. with annotations. The table below provides quick access to Background Documents for chemicals for priority action listed in Part A.


Group of substances / substances Function Last revision of Background Document(Lead country) Year of publication of Review statement on Background document
  cadmium Metallic compound 2004 (Spain) 2010
  lead and organic lead compounds Metal/organometallic compounds 2009 (Norway)  
  mercury and organic mercury compounds Metal/organometallic compounds 2004 (UK) 2009
  organic tin compounds Organometallic compounds 2011 (The Netherlands)  
51000-52-3 neodecanoic acid, ethenyl ester Organic Ester 2011 (UK)  
1763-23-1 perfluorooctanyl sulphonic acid and its salts (PFOS) Organohalogens 2006 (UK) 2011
79-94-7 tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBP-A) Organohalogens 2011 (UK)  
87-61-6 1,2,3-trichlorobenzene Organohalogens 2005 (Belgium & Luxembourg) 2010
120-82-1 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene Organohalogens 2005 (Belgium & Luxembourg) 2010
108-70-3 1,3,5-trichlorobenzene Organohalogens 2005 (Belgium & Luxembourg) 2010
  brominated flame retardants Organohalogens 2009 (Sweden)  
  polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Organohalogens 2004 (Germany & Belgium) 2008
  polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) Organohalogens 2007 (Denmark & Belgium)  
  polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) Organohalogens 2007 (Denmark & Belgium)  
  short chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCP) Organohalogens 2009 (Sweden)  
793-24-8 4-(dimethylbutylamino)diphenylamin (6PPD) Organic nitrogen compound 2006 (Germany)  
115-32-2 Dicofol Pesticides/biocides/organohalogens 2004 (Finland) 2008
115-29-7 endosulfan Pesticides/biocides/organohalogens 2004 (Germany) 2008
  hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCH) Pesticides/biocides/organohalogens 2004 (Germany) 2008
72-43-5 methoxychlor Pesticides/biocides/organohalogens 2004 (Finland) 2008
  pentachlorophenol (PCP) Pesticides/biocides/organohalogens 2004 (Finland)  
1582-09-8 trifluralin Pesticides/biocides/organohalogens 2005 (Germany) 2012
23593-75-1 clotrimazole Pharmaceutical 2013 (France)  
732-26-3 2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenol Phenol 2006 (UK) 2009
  nonylphenol/ethoxylates (NP/NPEs) and related substances Phenol 2009 (Sweden)  
140-66-9 octylphenol Phenol 2006 (UK) 2009
  certain phthalates: dibutylphthalate (DBP), diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP) Phthalate esters 2006 (Denmark & France)  
  polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) Polycyclic aromatic compounds 2009 (Norway)  
  musk xylene Synthetic musk 2004 (Switzerland)