When using chemicals you must follow the advice for:
- safe handling
This may be contained in a Safety Data Sheet, or otherwise advised by your supplier.
If a Safety Data Sheet contains an exposure scenario covering your use then, as outlined above, you must follow the advice on risk management measures.
If your use is not covered, or you are in any doubt, you should inform your supplier or you may need to prepare your own Chemical Safety Assessment to submit to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs)
Under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals Regulation (REACH), some substances have properties that are deemed to be of very high concern. These substances present particularly high risks to human health, or the environment, or both. Members States nominate SVHCs to be added to a candidate list.
Certain duties may apply if your business has involvement with a chemical that is on the candidate list. You may have to notify the ECHA about your use or have a duty to pass certain information to your customers.
The ECHA may transfer priority chemicals from the SVHC candidate list to an authorisation list (Annex 14 of REACH) after careful consideration of the substance’s use and associated risks.
Industry must apply to the ECHA for an authorisation to supply or use these substances. Authorisation will only be granted where it is shown that risks will be adequately controlled or socio-economic benefits of the use outweigh the risks.
Some chemical substances are restricted under REACH (Annex 17).
A restriction may:
- Place concentration limits for its use or ban an activity entirely.
- Apply to the marketing of a chemical substance, or how it is used, or both.
- Apply to all uses or to specific uses.
Restrictions are not subject to tonnage thresholds – you must comply with a restriction no matter what tonnage you market or use.
For further information relating to some of the chemicals restricted under Annex 17 of the REACH Regulation, please read the following page:
How to find out if a chemical is restricted
A list of restricted chemicals, their concentration limits and the associated marketing and use restrictions is given in Annex XVII of the Regulations. Please follow the link below and search for ‘REACH’ to view the original Regulations and subsequent amendments:
If a substance or preparation contains an Annex XVII chemical and the concentration limit is met or breached, then the marketing and use restrictions shall apply; it then becomes an offence to:
- market it for a restricted purpose;
- use it for a restricted purpose;
- permit or cause another party to contravene a restriction.
Committing one of the above offences, or failure to respond to an Information Notice relating to the Regulations is a criminal offence and may lead to enforcement action (including prohibition/enforcement notices and prosecution).