To ensure that chemical substances found in everyday products are safe to human health and the environment, the European Union enacted the REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) Regulation to control potentially hazardous substances. Under the regulation, Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) must be identified and disclosed.
Thousands of chemical substances currently in use will ultimately be registered, a process that requires research to fill information gaps on the hazards of these substances and identify risk management measures to ensure their safe use. Once a substance is added to the SVHC Candidate List, REACH imposes immediate requirements on manufacturers to declare the substances if present and whether their products contain any SVHCs in excess of 0.1% weight by product.
161 substances currently on the REACH Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) have been authorized by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
The European Union’s REACH legislation requires all chemicals sold in quantity in the EU to be registered in a central database and prioritized for evaluation and possible avoidance based on their hazard profile. The program maintains several lists of “Substances of Very High Concern.”
Products can contribute to Option 2 under this credit if they come with clear documentation from the supplier that they do not contain any substances on the Authorization List (chemicals that can only be used with special authorization) nor on the Candidate List (chemicals being considered for the Authorization List). Because these lists can change over time, the supplier documentation must be dated; if a substance in the product was added to one of these lists after that documentation was produced and after the project’s registration date, the product is still considered compliant. The REACH compliance method is not limited just to international projects. Projects in the U.S. may also use this alternative compliance path.