26 List of Banned Chemicals in Australia – Severely Restricted

Australia is the world sixth biggest country and ranked fifth in the Index of Economic Freedom (2017). As a wealthy country, Australia depends on various income such as mining and manufacturing. These sectors are known for relying on hazardous chemicals on the process. In the mining industry, chemicals are used as flotation reagents, solvent extractants, and grinding aids.

While in the manufacturing industry, chemicals are used as a corrosion inhibitor, dust, and biocides. Many risky chemicals can still be used in appropriate control, but some are too dangerous for any use and have to be banned. Beside carcinogenic effect, hazardous chemicals are related to fertility problems and allergies.

This country follows international conventions and protocols about protection to human health and environment against the effects of hazardous chemicals and its wastes. So, we won’t likely find any list of chemicals banned internationally in this country.

To decrease the misuse of hazardous chemicals inside the country, Australian Border Force (ABF) has control chemicals as :

  • Absolute prohibition – not allowed to be imported or exported under any circumstances
  • Restriction – allowed to be imported or exported only with written permission

Here is the list of banned chemicals in Australia:

  1. Asbestos
    Asbestos was one of many Australia mining products, it was mined until late 1984. Asbestos is widely used in the past are because of its versatility. This mineral has flexibility, tensile strength, heat and electricity insulation, chemical inertness all at affordable price. Despite all the plus that it gives, asbestos is classified as human carcinogen. Australia-wide ban on the manufacture and use of all types of asbestos and asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) took effect in 2003. However, asbestos is still used in several countries in the world.
  2. Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)
    There are some list of banned chemicals in Australia. DBP is an important plasticizer that allows major engineering plastics such as PVC more flexible and harder to break. Since plastic is commonly used as food and beverage packaging, studies have shown that men who ate processed and packaged foods and drank carbonated soft drinks have higher levels of phthalates in their urine. DBP is also known to cause reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption. Several phthalates have been banned for use in cosmetics in Australia: dibutyl phthalate, diethylhexylphthalate, diisobutylphthalate and di(methyloxyhexyl)phthalate.
  3. Diethylene Glycol (DEG)
    DEG is an organic compound used as a solvent and humectant. It is also found as a component in brake fluid, lubricants, and wallpaper strippers. DEG is sometimes used as a replacement for glycerine in toothpaste. (Also read:  Harmful Chemicals in Toothpaste) Besides toothpaste, it is also used in other personal care products such as skin cream, lotion, and deodorant. DEG toxicity was found as early as 1937, and should not be used in food or drugs. The Australian government does not allow DEG as a food additive. It is only allowed at less than 0.25% w/w of DEG as an impurity of polyethylene glycol (PEG) even in toothpaste.
  4. Endosulfan
    This organochloride substance was used as insecticide and acaricide in past. Endosulfan has unique action and useful in resistance management. However, it also can terminate beneficial insects such as honey bees. Besides its uncontrollable target, Endosulfan known for its acute toxicity. These bad properties make endosulfan highly controversial to be used as agrichemical and have been phased out globally. Australia starts to ban endosulfan in 2010. This action was taken because The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority says that prolonged use of the chemical is likely to lead to adverse environmental effects that cannot be mitigated.
  5. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB)
    PCB was scheduled to be removed from use within 13 years since 1995 in Australia. Beside banning PCB systematically, the government also examined environments that closely related to PCB such as foods, breast milk, sewage treatment plants and outfalls and even wildlife. PCB are mixtures of various isomers based on biphenyl that is persistent organic pollutants (POPs). It bio-accumulated and passed through the food chain. Studies in workers exposed to PCB have shown liver damage that indicated by blood and urine changes. 
  6. 1,3-Dimethylamylamine (DMAA)
    Marketed as an inhaled nasal decongestant, DMAA is an indirect sympathomimetic drug. The effects of DMAA inside the human body are blood vessel constriction, bronchodilation, peristaltic inhibition, and diuretic effects. Narrowed blood vessel and arteries can elevate too blood pressure and cardiovascular problem. Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australian Health Department (TGA) has banned the use of this chemical since 2012 and urge people not to obtain, supply or use DMAA. The ban includes online purchase for personal use.
  7. Tartrazine
    This Chemical is used as yellow to various green shades in food, cosmetic, and medication coloring. Tartrazine is found to cause allergenic and intolerance reactions, particularly to people with asthma and aspirin intolerance. There is also record related to hypersensitivity regarding its effect. Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) recommended banning tartrazine for oral ingestion in 1983. The ban expands to topical or lipstick products that require long exposure to human skin.

That’s all the list of banned chemicals in Australia, then you may also read:

4 Major National Regulators in Australia about Chemicals

The information about the regulation of banned and restricted chemicals can be viewed in 4 major national regulators, based on the chemical use, they are :

  1. industrial chemicals – NICNAS
  2. pesticides and veterinary medicines – Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (APVMA)
  3. medicines and medicinal products – Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
  4. food additives and contaminants – Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ).

Besides the chemicals regulations, Australia also develop national workplace health and safety (WHS) through Save Work Australia (SWA). 

More List of Banned Substances in Australia

Here are the rest following substances that are banned in Australia :

  1. Acrolein
  2. Bifenthrin
  3. Carbadox
  4. Chloramphenicol
  5. Chlorpyrifos
  6. Clenbuterol (except for tocolysis as per APVMA approved label)
  7. Coal tar
  8. Dibromide
  9. Diethylstilboestrol and related compounds (hexoestrol, dienestrol)
  10. Diethyl phthalate – Restriction: in sunscreens except at 0.5% or less
  11. Dimethylphthalate – Restriction: in sunscreens except at 0.5% or less
  12. Fluoroquinolones
  13. Mevinphos
  14. Nitrofurans (including furazolidone and nitrofurazone)
  15. Nitroimidazoles (except dimetridazole for use on birds not intended for human consumption and breeders as per APVMA approved label)
  16. Phenylenediamines – Prohibited in preparation for skin coloration (eg tattoos)
  17. Phenylbutazone
  18. Salbutamol
  19. Thyrostats (eg thiouracil)

Thus, there are many list of banned chemicals in Australia or severely restricted due to its dangers exposure to human and environment.