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The ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) enforcement Forum has recently released orders regarding its major 2022 REF-10 project. The orders blatantly stated that the quality of consumer products would be monitored under the integrated standards of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals) and POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants).

The order extended powers to the REACH and POPs inspectors to check whether the products comply with the REACH and POPs standards or not. And if they don't, the inspectors have the liberty to stop their manufacturing. This project was put forth with a vision of:

  •  strengthening the quality of products that EU citizens use
  • Improving the environment

The expected timeline of this project's enforcement is as follows:

  • 2021: The introduction; project was announced in 2021 by the ECHA forum.
  • 2022: The inspection, inspection work will start by 2022. Several sample products will be collected and speculated under the REACH and POPs norms.
  • 2023: The report; after thorough inspections, a full-fledged report containing each and every detail regarding the product's quality will be released by the end of 2023.

Materials that are subjected to the REACH and POPs norms

The EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals) was introduced to law by the European Union in 2018.

The order extended powers to the REACH and POPs inspectors to check whether the products comply with the REACH and POPs standards or not.

The forum was introduced with the sole purpose of enabling consumer protection by implementing high-quality evaluation on consumer products.

The aims of REACH are as follows:

  • Protect consumer health and environmental quality against harmful chemicals.
  • Promoting healthier alternatives to hazardous chemicals
  • Educating people regarding the risks associated with the use of heavy chemicals

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are toxic elements comprising organic substances like carbon. They are primarily the chemicals that persist in the environment and therefore bioaccumulate via food chains. This could have adverse effects on both human beings and the environment.

If not controlled, they can spread across international boundaries through water bodies as most of these POPs are industrial effluents. As they grow over water bodies, they intensely harm aquatic life and eventually disturb the food web.

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This is the reason why the European Union is working towards reducing the amount of POPs produced each year. And the implementation of the new ECHA project was a giant step towards POPs reduction and environment protection. Moreover, you can read further about it by following this link: https://360compliance.co/sustainability/consumer-products-will-be-tested-under-reach-andpops-regulatory-compliance/.

Materials that are subjected to the duties of REACH and POPs include:

  • Rubber
  • Textiles
  • Plastic
  • Pesticides
  • Industrial waste
  • Industrial by-products

Will your organization be affected by the new ECHA project?

Almost every company makes use of chemicals in some way or the other. Nevertheless, not all organizations withhold heavy machinery and carry out industrial procedures. Therefore, not all organizations are affected by the new ECHA policy equally.

However, every company must stick to the restricted figures provided for chemical usage. The REACH can monitor an enterprise:

  • Irrespective of its size and brand reputation
  • Covers every sector, be it manufacturing, distributing, or importing.
  • Mandates every layer of the supply chain to stick to the chemical usage obligations
  • Ensures that the finished product is safe to use

Substances restricted under the REACH regulations.

Currently, there are a total of 75 substances that are restricted under the REACH norms. The Annex XVII has lately been updated to restrict the following:

  • Entry 66-bisphenol A in thermal paper
  • Entry 70-the siloxanes D4/D5 in wash-off cosmetic products
  • Entry 72-carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances in textiles

Substances that are restricted under the POPs norms

Currently, the POP Regulation ((EU) 2019/1021) Annex I Prohibited Substance List restricts a total of 28 persistent organic pollutants. However, the other list, the Annex II Restricted Substance List, is yet to be released.

Perhaps the second list may contain regulations regarding:

  • The use of short-chain chlorinated paraffin in SCCP based products.
  • And the use of PFOA in water repellents.

Takeaway

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The restrictions implemented by the new ECHA policies are still under work. This means that the product restrictions may not be confined to the products stated in this article. To ensure compliance with the restriction norms, it is advised to refer to the entire Annex XVII list.