Introduction To Substances Of Very High Concern

by Source Intelligence

on March 13, 2017


Substances of Very High Concern, or SVHCs, are substances that have the potential to impose harm or risk to human health or the environment under the EU REACH regulation.


Which characteristics does REACH use to define SVHCs? Substances that meet one or more of the criteria defined under article 57 of REACH are identified as SVHCs. They could be carcinogenic, mutagenic, or reprotoxic, meaning they have harmful effects on people’s biochemistry. For example, reprotoxic substances have harmful effects on individuals’ reproductive systems. SVHCs also include any persistent very persistent bioaccumulative and toxic materials and potentially harmful substances such as endocrine disruptors. 


Many SVHCs are eventually added to the authorization list, a list of banned substances under REACH. For this reason, it is critical for companies to track SVHCs in their products early on. 


Here’s what you can do to identify SVHCs in your supply chain. First, ask your suppliers to provide a Full Materials Disclosure (FMD) if possible so you don’t have to contact them when substances are added to the list every six months. Second, use a database that automatically updates all substance lists under the REACH regulation so that you don’t miss important changes. Third, make sure your data centralized and aggregated so you can easily identify which suppliers or products have SVHCs. 


For more information on REACH, be sure to read Source Intelligence’s white paper “REACH Distilled” by clicking the button below.


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