Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC)
A chemical substance (or part of a group of chemical substances) for which it has been proposed that the use within the European Union be subject to authorization under the REACH Regulation. Indeed, the listing of a substance as an SVHC by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is the first step in the procedure for authorization and restriction of the use of a chemical. The first list of SVHCs was published on October 28, 2008.
What is Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC)?
The Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) is a term used to describe a chemical substance, or a group of chemical substances, that has been proposed to be subject to authorization under the REACH Regulation within the European Union. The REACH Regulation stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals, and it is a comprehensive legislation that aims to ensure the safe use of chemicals in the EU.
When a substance is identified as an SVHC by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), it signifies that the substance has properties that may cause harm to human health or the environment. These properties could include being carcinogenic (causing cancer), mutagenic (causing genetic mutations), toxic to reproduction, or persisting in the environment and accumulating in living organisms.
The listing of a substance as an SVHC is the initial step in the process of authorization and restriction of its use. This means that if a substance is identified as an SVHC, its use may be restricted or even banned within the European Union unless specific authorization is granted. The authorization process involves a thorough evaluation of the risks and benefits associated with the use of the substance, taking into consideration alternative substances or technologies that may be safer.
The first list of SVHCs was published on October 28, 2008, and it included substances such as lead, cadmium, and certain phthalates. Since then, the list has been regularly updated to include new substances that meet the criteria for SVHC classification.
The identification and regulation of SVHCs play a crucial role in protecting human health and the environment. By subjecting these substances to authorization and restriction, the European Union aims to minimize the risks associated with their use and promote the development and adoption of safer alternatives. This not only ensures the safety of workers and consumers but also encourages innovation and the advancement of sustainable practices in the chemical industry.
In conclusion, the Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) refers to a chemical substance or group of substances that have been proposed for authorization and restriction under the REACH Regulation within the European Union. The identification of SVHCs is the first step in the process of evaluating and controlling the risks associated with their use. By regulating these substances, the EU aims to protect human health and the environment while promoting the development of safer alternatives.