According to the authors of the Forum REF Project 8 Report (REF 8) published at the beginning of December, three-quarters of the products inspected that were bought online violated REACH or the CLP or Biocidal Products regulations. The ECHA made the announcement in a press release.
As part of the project, inspectors examined some 5,700 chemicals, mixtures, and articles that had been purchased from Web stores or other online platforms since the start of 2020.
The inspectors viewed the violations that involved products containing carcinogenic, mutagenic, and reprotoxic (CMR) ingredients. Such products, including lead in solders, are easily accessible to every consumer, although they have been authorized only for professional users.
The authors state that vendors describe the products online without information about their hazards. Biocidal products even involve deceptive advertising when vendors extol their products as risk-free, non-poisonous, harmless, or environmentally friendly – a practice that the Biocidal Products Regulation forbids expressly. And two-thirds of the products studied did not display the obligatory warning: “Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use.”
The inspectors triggered more than 5,000 enforcement measures. The targeted companies must remove the products from the Web site and align their online offerings with the regulations in force.
Based on the results of the project, the ECHA recommended the following to the EU Commission:
- Ensure that online suppliers take more responsibility and be made liable for their actions.
- Standardize and strengthen online commerce throughout the EU.
- Provide support and finance to EU enforcement efforts.
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