ECHA, the European Chemicals Agency that operates from Helsinki, announced in a press release dated December 19th 2012 that the number of Substances of Very High Concern in the Candidate List of European regulation REACH was up 54 substances, to 138 substances in total.
ECHA beats its set-by-itself target of 136 substances, but we think what’s most remarkable is that this major update of the candidate list in tough economic times shows the commitment of ECHA to deliver its promise of making of the EU a safe harbour when it comes to chemicals risk exposure of consumers, workers and the environment.
Of course, abiding by an ever increasing candidate list (not to mention the Authorization list should follow soon) obviously adds complexity to running a business (be it retail or manufacturing): traceability has to be ensured against a wider range of substances, suppliers are wary answering in a timely and precise manner will damper their margins, and few companies properly use chemicals exposure messages to foster trustworthy relationships with customers.
However, outside of making the business case of using chemicals traceability solutions like Verteego much stronger, ECHA makes with this stronger list of SVHCs a point in giving businesses the weapons they need to answer everyday louder concerns from the Civil Society, in the name of NGOs like Greenpeace and its Detox campaign against harmful residues in textiles.
I think REACH is a virtuous regulation in the sense that it provides, for the businesses willing to play the game by its rules, a competitive advantage for EU companies and their suppliers: by complying with REACH’s article 33, businesses reduce their reputation risk the automated fashion, and create the technical conditions to both substitute hazardous chemicals and build a more sustainable feeling of trust from their markets.
Note to our users: And you have already noticed, the Candidate list on Verteego REACH Garden was duly updated on December 20th. Our users will however find 142 substances on their Verteego Candidate List. Why? On the page provided by ECHA, one of the substances has no CAS yet. That makes it 137 (instead of 138). The 5 additional substances come from the breakdown 2 substances into 7 (7-2=5): on the one hand, Cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylic anhydride , cis-cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylic anhydride , and trans-cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylic anhydride . And on the other hand, Hexahydromethylphthalic anhydride , Hexahydro-4-methylphthalic anhydride , Hexahydro-1-methylphthalic anhydride , Hexahydro-3-methylphthalic anhydride . Which makes substances searches from users easier, and enhances the accuracy of chemicals traceability campaigns.
This being said, happy new year 2013 to you all!