ECHA: Lack of chemical information hinders a circular economy

2019-11-25

In an article published 2019-11-22, Aktuell Hållbarhet writes that “companies need to become better at reporting particularly dangerous substances, known as SVHC, to their customers. This is what the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) says after they in a Project examined the chemical information in 15 member states.

In order to reduce the risks to human health and the environment, companies are required to report the content of particularly hazardous substances in the products to their customers along the entire supply chain, if the substances are present in a content above 0.1% by weight percentage. The substances are listed on the EU candidate list, which lists risk substances that may be banned.

The project examined 405 companies and 682 articles were checked. The articles were selected since they were suspected to be risk products. In 88 percent of cases, the requirements to provide information on the content of SVHC were not met. According to ECHA, this shows that companies do not have sufficient knowledge of the substances contained in their products and that chemical safety must be improved.

In a comment Erwin Annys, head of ECHA’s support and supervisory unit said, “Although almost 90 percent of the products do not contain particularly dangerous substances above 0.1 percent, the report clearly indicates a failure to communicate along the entire supply chain. Improvement is required if we want to make sure that all parts of REACH works, to contribute to the goals of a circular economy and to have a good database according to the requirements of the waste directive”.

The products selected as risk products in terms of SVHC content included clothes, shoes, home textiles, cables, cables, electronics accessories, plastic or textile flooring and plastic or rubber products.”