Reassessment of benzyl alkonium chlorides

20 December 2019

Submissions on our proposed updates to the benzyl alkonium chloride (BAC) approvals are now open.

We have initiated an application for a modified reassessment of BACs. These are a family of surfactants used in New Zealand which have diverse uses, including in detergents, pesticides, veterinary medicines, timber treatments, and disinfectants.

The modified reassessment seeks to update the hazard classification of BACs after grounds were established based on regulatory reviews in the USA, Canada and Australia and information held in overseas regulatory databases.

“There are approximately 9,000 approvals relating to around 150,000 substances that are used in New Zealand. Part of our role as a regulator is to monitor and review new information generated internationally on these chemicals,” says Acting General Manager of Hazardous Substances, Gayle Holmes.

“This current modified reassessment seeks to determine that, where appropriate, our hazard classifications are aligned globally, and that risks are being managed accordingly.”

A reassessment is a statutory process under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO), which applies to substances that have already been approved for use in New Zealand. It is a two-step process which requires that grounds to reassess that substance are established first, followed by an application to reassess the substance(s).

Reassessments are determined by a decision-making committee, which is made up of members of our HSNO Committee.

“A modified reassessment looks only at specific aspects of the existing approval(s), and in this case it is the hazard classifications assigned to a number of substances,” Gayle Holmes says. “Under the modified reassessment process, there is no provision to revoke an existing approval.”

Submissions are now open and close at 5pm on 27 February 2020.

View the BAC consultation information

Read further details about our reassessment process