Many product suppliers are not informing their customers of the presence of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in their products, thus violating Article 33 of REACH, which explicitly requires such a notification. That’s the finding of a review undertaken by the Swedish chemicals agency KEMI under the authorship of inspector Frida Ramström.
The project began at the start of 2019 and involved a total of 70 communities and more than 100 inspectors. The latter examined retailers and large retail chains and examined 324 different products, including toys, fishing and sports equipment, gloves, bags, electronic devices, shoes, and clothing.
The sobering result was that although 43 of the 324 products, some 13%, contained SVHCs, none of the retailers had any information about the chemicals. The labels on the products did not note the presence of the SVHCs. The inspectors also found a lack of compliance on the labels themselves, many of which were not written in the required national language, Swedish.
The inspectors found a particularly high number of violations with toys and electronic devices. They found short-chained chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) in 14 products; the heavy metal cadmium in some products; and phthalates bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), diisononyl phthalate (DINP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP). Slime toys were the most common offenders and showed high levels of boron. A RAPEX product warning (only in German) about these kinds of products was published last October.
KEMI will publish a summary report on the inspection at the start of 2020.
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