BusinessGreen.com on an issue that is not getting nearly enough attention - the EU's Substances of Very High Concern list:
European businesses are being urged to assess which chemicals they use and attempt to avoid as many potentially hazardous substances as possible, after the European Chemicals Agency last week released its first list of chemicals that could soon be classified as being of very high concern under EU chemicals legislation.
The so-called Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern features 15 chemicals, including a range of cobalt and arsenic compounds and other toxic and carcinogenic substances.
Under the EU's Registration Evaluation Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) directive which came into effect last year, suppliers of products that contain any of the chemicals featured on the list are legally obliged to provide information on the chemical to their customers alongside a "safety data sheet"...
"What companies need to realise is that this is essentially a black list, and if they can avoid any of these chemicals they would be advised to do so," he said, adding that environmental NGOs were likely to use the legislation to make data requests from those firms they suspect of using these chemicals...
"If you think that REACH will only affect big businesses who deal in large quantities of chemical products, then think again," he said. "If you use chemicals to keep your machinery operating and your premises clean, if you import products like cars or batteries, or if you receive substances containing chemicals through a supplier and use them in an unusual way – then it's likely you'll need to take some action under REACH."
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