The Philippine Priority Chemicals List (PCL) is a list of existing and new chemicals that DENR-EMB has determined to a potentially pose unreasonable risk to public health, workplace, and the environment. Among the chemicals in PCL, DENR-EMB determines which chemicals should be regulated. In addition, DENR-EMB imposes special reporting requirements that apply only to chemicals included in PCL. This is an essential aspect of the PCL process since these reports will enable DENR-EMB to obtain the necessary information concerning the priority chemicals and their uses. Such information will assist DENR-EMB in making informed decisions on which chemicals should be regulated.
Assessment of the potential hazards and risks posed by each chemical in PCL is not an easy process. It not only requires knowledge of the toxicity of a substance, but also other characteristics of a substance that may influence the severity and duration of adverse impacts. These include a chemical’s persistence and tendency to bioaccumulate through the food chain. The following criteria has been established by DENR-EMB for PCL based on the selection criteria and used in other industrial nations such as Australia, Japan, Canada and the United States. In addition, qualitative and quantitative information that is unique to the Philippines such as chemical’s use and management, production quantity, percentage of release, occupational exposure, disposal methods, and technical and economic feasibility of its regulation are considered:
Persistence refers to the property of a substance whose half-life in water, sediment, soil, or air exceeds duration of fifty (50) days. Sludge may be used as a surrogate for sediment. Metals are considered to be persistent in all media.
Toxicity refers to the quality of a substance which meets any of the following criteria:
- Acute lethality
- Chronic or sub-lethal toxicity
Bioaccumulation potential is the measure of a substance’s ability to bioaccumulate in the food chain.