What is REACH?
The Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals aka REACH is a regulation program developed by the European Union in order to set up a framework for dangerous chemical substances. The goal of REACH is to monitor which substances are harmful for the environment or for human, then which ones among them should get banned from the European market in priority.
Since it is continuously updated, REACH should not be considered as a certification but instead as a regulation that any company needs to comply to sell a product in the EU.
How does it work?
In practice, REACH is mainly a set of 3 lists that are frequently updated:
- SVHC: Substances of Very High Concern
- Candidate List of substances of very high concern for authorization
SVHC – Substances of Very High Concern:
The SVHC list contains all the substances that are forbidden in the European Union. This list is usually updated every semester. Once a dangerous substance appears on that list, it means that any product that has a concentration higher than 0,1% of total weight of that substance is banned in the EU.
Candidate List of substances of very high concern for authorization:
This list is about all the substances that are candidates for ban in the EU. It exists there to inform companies about the coming change in the regulation and let them anticipate the future evolutions of the SVHC list.
The restriction list is the list that set a regulation concerning the dangerous substances. Substances that are among these have very strict and limited uses: industries, products, quantities, etc.
How to find a substance on REACH:
To understand why a substance is already in the list, there are different information that are available:
- CAS no: The CAS number is the equivalent of an ID for harmful substances. Every one of them has one. (Please note the SVHC list does not always display it directly)
- Date of inclusion: This date indicates when the substance has been included into the SVHC list, therefore since when it is forbidden to use it.
- Reason for inclusion: The reason for inclusion indicates precisely what are the harmful effects of the substance (health, environment), and why it is on the SVHC list.
Consequences for the companies:
It is the duty of the companies to declare which chemical substances they are using, and certify they abandoned those that are already on SVHC. In practice, it means regularly checking the REACH regulation updates. In case of control, if a company does not comply REACH, it will get fined for each day of production out of the regulation.
For companies out of the EU, it also means that the supply chain does not contain any SVHC chemicals as well. The product will be checked at the entry of the European common market.
All the chemical products we use are registered and authorized in accordance with REACH. We also constantly monitor the status changes for all the products including the ones we purchase.