Discovery of SVHCs in Numerous European Market Products Highlights Need for Improved Communication
Between late 2017 and the end of 2018, the Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement conducted a pilot project aimed at controlling substances of very high concern (SVHC) in products sold in the European market. Recent review of the project’s results indicates the presence of SVHCs in a number of products, highlighting the need for improved communication between companies and consumers. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the project and some of its key findings.
About the Project
The Forum project was conducted largely between October 2017 and December 2018. During this period, 405 companies from 15 Member States were inspected. A total of 682 articles were inspected.
|Participating Member State||Number of Companies Inspected||Number of Articles Inspected|
Source: European Chemicals Agency
Types of Companies Inspected
- 256 (64%) of the 405 companies inspected were focused on wholesale or retail trade (slightly more than half of which were retailers).
- 128 (32%) of the 405 companies inspected were focused on manufacturing (including electronics, plastic products, rubber products, and more).
- The remaining 21 companies (4%) fell into other categories.
Types of Companies Inspected
- 133 (20%) of the 682 articles were consumer articles (e.g., home textiles, clothing, footwear)).
- 17 of these contained Candidate List substances with a weight concentration above 0.1% w/w (weight per weight).
- 72 (11%) of the 682 articles were electronics and electronic accessories.
- 17 of these contained Candidate List substances with a weight concentration above 0.1% w/w.
- 71 (10%) of the 682 articles were building or interior articles (e.g., wall coverings, floorings).
- 2 of these contained Candidate List substances with a weight concentration above 0.1% w/w.
- The remaining 406 articles (60%) fell into the broader category of “other” rubber and plastic articles.
- 48 of these contained Candidate List substances with a weight concentration above 0.1% w/w.
Some Key Findings
Of the 682 articles inspected during the course of the project, 84 of them were discovered to include Candidate List chemical substances (SVHCs) exceeding 0.1% w/w concentrations. While this is a relatively small percentage overall (12%), it still represents a significant amount. Even more significant is the finding that a number of the companies did not meet the communication obligations for Candidate List substances under REACH Regulation Articles 7(2) and 33. While Candidate List substances are allowed in articles, it is required that companies inform customers about their presence and communicate information on how to use them safely.
Erwin Annys, Head of the Support and Enforcement Unit at the European Chemicals Agency, has noted the importance of this communication in light of these findings, stating “While nearly 90% of the products do not contain substances of very high concern above 0.1%, the report clearly shows a failure of communication in the supply chain. Improvement is needed if we want to make REACH work in all aspects, contribute to the objectives of the circular economy and to have a good database as required under the Waste Framework Directive”.
Additional detailed information about the Forum project and its findings can be found in the European Chemicals Agency's Forum Pilot Project Substances in Articles Project Report. To access detailed information on any SVHC, and on an abundance of additional chemicals, contact ToxPlanet and register for a Free Trial. Learn more about our solutions and how we can help address your chemical hazard information needs.