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Australia to Update List of Chemicals with High Hazards for Categorisation

568 types of chemicals (including 700 unique entries) are to be added to the List.

The Australian Government is currently consulting on the proposed changes to the ‘List of chemicals with high hazards for categorisation’ (hereinafter referred to as the List), which includes chemicals that trusted national and international sources consider being highly hazardous to human health or the environment. Comments are welcome before February 22, 2024.


The List was originally issued in 2020. It serves as a screening tool that helps introducers (manufacturers or importers) to categories the introduction (manufacture or import) of their chemical based on known information and prevents chemicals of high concern from being categorised as “Exempted Introductions” (very low risk) or “Reported Introductions” (low risk). Listed chemicals are with hazards that are in the highest hazard bands prescribed by the AICIS – human health hazard band C and environment hazard band C or D. The introducer should check if their chemical is on the List and if it is, then the chemical has one or more of the hazards in the highest hazard bands. Notably, introductions of listed chemicals with hazards in the highest hazard bands (such as carcinogenicity) could be categorised as "Assessed Introductions".

Human health hazard band C

Environment hazard band C

Environment hazard band D

  • Carcinogenicity

  • Reproductive toxicity

  • Developmental toxicity

  • Adverse effects mediated by an endocrine mode of action

  • Genetic toxicity

  • Very toxic to any aquatic life

  • Persistent and bioaccumlative

  • Contains arsenic, cadmium, lead or mercury

  • Ozone depleting chemical

  • Synthetic greenhouse gas

  • Adverse effects mediated by an endocrine mode of action

  • Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic

The List has not been updated for approximately 4 years. As the information sources have been updated to include more chemicals., the List should be updated accordingly. Moreover, all esters and salts of chemicals on the List are currently considered to share similar high hazards to their respective parent chemicals. In practice, it's both time-consuming and difficult for introducers to go through the List and work out if their chemical is an ester or salt of any of the chemicals on the List. To address these issues, the authority recently opened the consultation on the proposed changes to the List.

Proposed changes

  • To add 568 types of chemicals (including 700 unique entries) to the List with CAS No. (if any), chemical name, high hazard characteristic, information source, source website link. *The table below shows some proposed additions to the List.

  • To remove some information sources from the List, e.g., Class II chemicals on the Chemical Substances Control Law of Japan.

  • To remove some entries from the List, e.g., entries that are neither a chemical element, a compound or complex of a chemical element nor, UVCB substance.

  • To remove the current requirement to check for esters and salts of most chemicals on the List, separately specifying the chemicals that introducers must check to see if their chemical is an ester or salt of those specified chemicals.

  • To define any exceptions that apply for the esters and salts, i.e., if the chemical being introduced meets the exception criteria, then it is not considered to have the hazard characteristic.

The proposed additions to the List and the proposed subset to the List separately specified for checking for salts and esters can be accessed here. Future updates to the List will be made yearly unless urgency dictates a shorter period, with a 3-month notice period given in advance of the update taking effect.

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