SVHC: call for companies to list their products!

Eight out of ten people are worried about “the effects of chemical products in everyday consumables”*. As well as their obligation to inform, brands must adapt to this new attitude. Ineris is one of the partners of the LIFE AskReach project, which is developing the Scan4Chem mobile application. This application enables consumers to screen everyday objects and find out whether or not they contain substances of very high concern (SVHC), which is likely to guide their consumption choices. At this stage, Ineris is asking brands to volunteer to enter their products into the database and expand the information available to consumers.

As a national service providing regulatory support on the Reach regulation, Ineris is one of the partners of the European LIFE Ask Reach project, which is developing the Scan4Chem mobile application. Soon to be available in France, the application will enable consumers to scan the barcodes of everyday objects (clothes, shoes, sports articles, nappies, furniture, toys and more) to find out whether or not they contain SVHC (at a concentration of over 0.1%). At this stage, the Institute is asking brands to volunteer to enter their products into the database. So far, 17,500 products have already been registered at a European level.
By scanning the product or entering the barcode, consumers gain access to information about it, if it is registered. Otherwise, they can send a request to the brand using one of the application’s functionalities. As specified by the regulation, the brand must reply within 45 days if the product does contain SVHC. If the contact details (the brand’s email address) are not provided, consumers can also be proactive and add it to the application. In this way, the consumer community can feed the database itself.

Take part in a European project

Registering your data has a number of benefits:
- it provides a way of fulfilling your regulatory obligations as set out by Reach (article 33);
- it provides companies with a means to preempt and secure a competitive advantage, particularly in the upcoming implementation of the framework directive on waste that requires data to be sent to the ECHA;
- it highlights products that do not contain SVHC;
- it meets consumers’ expectations in terms of transparency and responsible communication;
- any brand that takes part in the initiative will improve its image.

Data is entered into the database using a dedicated interface (link to the guide). By creating an account with their email address, brands that volunteer can register to receive consumer inquiries entered in the Scan4Chem application. If they wish, brands can also use the interface to enter information on whether or not SVHC is present in the products they sell (example with the EAN type barcode). The data can be entered in stages as desired, for example, starting with the most popular, the simplest, the most frequent or the non-seasonal products. For substances without SVHC, the process of transferring mass data in one go can be fast, by importing a file or registering the barcodes in a single operation.

Find out more about the application

The Scan4Chem mobile application is developed by the Europe Union and is available in 12 countries, through public institutions like Ineris and NGOs within the Reach framework. The project is aiming to reach 3 million downloads in Europe.