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Step 2. Identify hazardous substances

In Step 2, it is time to investigate if there are any hazardous chemicals to substitute in your goods. This assumes that you have collected information about the content of your goods from the suppliers, as described in Step 1.

2.1 Interpret information in documents

If your supplier has declared chemical content, note which chemicals your supplier has declared (with CAS number and name) and in what concentration. Feel free to use our Excel template contained in the support material to gather your documentation in one place. Concentrations of a chemical in your product can be crucial in a risk assessment and prioritization for further work.

Read more and download support material

2.2 Identify health and environmental hazardous properties

There are many databases and negative lists you can use to investigate if a substance in your product is undesirable. For example, you can search for substances that are already regulated, require authorization, are "phase-out substances" or "priority risk reduction substances" according to PRIO-guidelines.

Search order suggestions in databases and lists

  1. SIN-List, "Substitute It Now", is a database created by the International Independent Chemicals Secretariat Chemsec. The list contains over 900 hazardous chemicals. The database contains a filter for chemicals which are legislated, but also on product groups and functional chemicals that are not legislated.
  2. PRIO-guide: A web tool from the Swedish Chemicals Agency that helps you prioritize substances for substitution based on two categories: phase-out substances (to be completely phased out) and priority risk reduction substances (use can be accepted after risk assessment).
  3. List of Lists: Pharos, Toxnot  & Material Wise uses around 50 global negative lists and compiles substance properties in one search. This gives you a global perspective.

More databases and lists:

  • SUBSPORT: A compiled "List-of-list" of restricted substance lists (RSLs) from industries, companies, NGOs, global agreements, etc.
  • OECDs eChemPortalDatabase with information on chemical hazards and risks from government programs worldwide. 
  • The Umwelt Bundesamt UBA, aims to protect drinking water revenue and has developed criteria for substances that are Persistent, Mobile and Toxic (PMT) and Highly Persistent and Highly Mobile (vPvM). A PDF lists 134 substances that meet or are suspected of meeting these criteria. Please note that these criteria are under discussion and are not harmonized within the EU.
  • Proposition 65: A California regulation with the goal to protect drinking water supplies from dangerous substances that can cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. The goal is to reduce the use of these substances and therefore labellng of consumer products containing the substances is required.

Tips! Contact the Swedish Centre for Chemical Substitution if you need help with which databases are relevant to your substitution question.

    News: Report SVHC-substances to ECHA

    As a manufacturer, importer or distributor of a product marketed in the EU / EEA, you must submit information to the ECHA (Substances of Concern In Articles) database, if your product contains a substance of very high concern from the candidate list at a content of at least 0.1% by weight. This applies from January 5, 2021.

    Read more about the SCIP Database

    2.4 Spot-check

    To monitor that your supplier has declared correct information on chemical content, you can choose to perform chemical analyses and samples. Sampling can either be taken "at random" or by selecting a priority product group, material or specific supplier.

    Tips! Contact the Swedish Centre for Chemical Substitution if you need help finding the appropriate laboratory for analysis of your product, material or chemical.

     

    Continue to step 3. Identify alternatives

    Nina Melander

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    Nina Melander

    Rådgivare Substitutionscentrum

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