Consumers throughout the EU can now use the Scan4Chem app to inform themselves about the presence of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in products. As announced by the Danish Environmental Ministry in a press release (Danish only), the app can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store or Google Play. The German Environment Ministry notes that the German version of the app has been available since the end of October 2019.
The app helps users discover the identity and presence of SVHCs in items like clothing, furniture, toys, and electronics. In a certain sense, it helps consumers decide whether to buy a product while at the store.
It works simply: Users scan the product’s bar code with their smart phone and are directed to a central database. Because the database stores information on the scanned product, users can see what the product contains and decide on an alternative, if they so desire. If no data on the product is present, users can still use the app to transmit an automatic request for information to the manufacturer or distributor.
According to Article 33 of REACH, manufacturers and distributors must reply to requests within 45 days and let the inquirer know if the product contains SVHCs in a concentration of 0.1% by mass. The information is free of charge. Every inquiry contributes to the database: The higher the number of consumers that use the app, the greater its utility. The best part is that most countries offer consumers the app in their own national language.
The app was developed as part of the pan-European AskREACH project. The German Environment Ministry began the project in September 2017 with the collaboration of 20 project partners from 13 member states of the EU.
We are familiar with the laws surrounding the use of SVHCs. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.