Sports items and SVHC: European test results

Early this year, the LIFE AskREACH project organised a set of tests on items associated with the world of sport such as yoga mats, weights, gym balls, sports shoes, swimming equipment etc. originating from 13 European countries. In fact, sports equipment may contain chemical substances falling into the SVHC category (Substance of Very High Concern).
In total, 82 samples were analysed by an independent laboratory accredited to carry out research into SVHCs.
The results are encouraging but still inadequate.

The results are encouraging but still inadequate.

Of the items tested, 9 (11%) contained SVHCs at a higher concentration than 0.1%, meaning that consumers need to be informed upon request. 24% contained traces of SVHC below the 0.1% threshold.
Are you a consumer? Make informed purchases by inquiring about your favourite brands and by checking that their products do not contain SVHCs.  Use the Scan4Chem mobile app to send requests and to encourage industrialists to enter results into databases, and to replace the most worrying substances.

What does this study tell us about the “right to know”?

The countries taking part in the test bought a range of items and sent requests to the retailers, asking them if the items contained any worrying substances. Under REACH, any company supplying items is obliged to inform consumers who request information on the presence of SVHCs, if the level of SVHCs is above 0.1%.
In this test, the majority of retailers did not reply within the 45 day legal limit, and had to be recontacted. This is not a conclusive result, as the regulatory obligation to provide a response only applies if the item contains SVHCs.
Nonetheless, Scan4Chem remains a useful tool that enables suppliers to provide their consumers with reassurance that their products do not contain SVHCs.
Are you an industrialist? Have a proactive relationship with your customers and be responsibly transparent, especially when it comes to SVHCs. Join the “Scan4Chem, better communication around SVHCs” group on LinkedIn, and find out more about the project.