One of the aims of the REACH Regulation is to gradually replace extremely dangerous substances with other, less dangerous substances or technologies, if and when these new options become economically and technically viable.
What is the candidate list of substances?
The candidate list of substances includes all substances of very high concern (SVHC) that Member States or the ECHA have submitted to the European Commission, with the aim of regularly evaluating these substances and taking measures to limit their use.
Which substances may be considered extremely dangerous (SVHC)?
An extremely dangerous substance (SVHC, or a Substance of Very High Concern) may have some of the following risk characteristics:
- Reproductive carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and/or toxicity (1A or 1B),
- PBT and/or vPvB,
- Endocrine disrupting properties (for health or the environment),
- Respiratory sensitization properties,
- Specific toxicity in certain organisms after repeated exposure,
- An equivalent degree of concern that has likely serious effects on human health or the environment.
Not all SVHCs are included in the candidate list, only those that the Member States or ECHA have submitted to the European Commission.
ECHA regularly evaluates the candidate list of substances with the aim of deciding which ones should be included in the Authorisation List (Annex XIV of REACH).
What are the repercussions for companies of adding a new substance to the Candidate List?
When a substance is added to the Candidate list of substances, all companies that are marketing or using the substance, whether as it is, in a mixture or included in articles, will have to comply with certain legal obligations:
- Update the products safety data sheets, stating the presence of said substance,
- Minimise the exposure and emission of the substance,
- In situations involving articles, inform customers of the presence of such substance and notify the ECHA. You can find out more about the obligations for companies who market articles here.