LONDON (ICIS)--An investigation into the composition of consumer products in Europe carried out by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) revealed that nearly a fifth of items surveyed contained materials that are restricted under Reach legislation, the organisation said on Tuesday.
Pthalates, cadmium and asbestos were among the materials found in products sold in the region in an investigation carried out by ECHA’s enforcement forum.
The materials are highly restricted under Reach’s Annex XIV protocol, meaning that their use is prohibited in Europe without specific authorisation.
ECHA carried out 5,625 product checks, discovering that one in five toys checked contained at least one form of phthalates, while cadmium was found in 14% of brazing fillers checked, and a substantial number of heaters, thermos flasks and brake pads containing asbestos.
13% of tested leather articles contained chromium VI, and 12% of jewellery checked contained cadmium, the regulator added.
17% of the products in breach of ECHA rules originated from China, while the origins of 39% of offending products were impossible to trace, ECHA added.
Asbestos, which has been heavily restricted in the EU since 1991 and almost completely banned since 2005, was mostly found in second-hand products likely produced before the ban came into effect, ECHA added.
“The report highlights the companies’ responsibility to get information on the chemical composition of their products from their suppliers,” the agency said in a statement.
The authorisation list is commonly seen as a de facto ban on a product, due to the money and time necessary to receive permission to continue using a restricted substance.
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