REACH for Consumers

Source: Europäische Chemikalienagentur

The price you pay

Products can contain dangerous chemicals. Before buying one, you have the right to ask the manufacturer, importer or distributor about this. With the Federal Environment Agency’s online form this is very easy to do. Simply type in the barcode number of the product and your contact details and an inquiry is automatically sent to the responsible producer or importer. This advert by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) encourages consumers to make use of their right to get this information.

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Why is REACH important for the general public?

REACH ensures that important information about all the chemicals marketed in the EU is accessible. Most of this information is available to the general public and can be retrieved on the ECHA website. REACH translates into more consumer protection against risks from chemical substances. For instance, REACH provides for identification of articles that contain Substances of Very High Concern and for substitution of these substances. The right to information under REACH also gives consumers the possibility to obtain information on their own and to thus make well-informed purchase decisions.

Right to information

If an article contains chemical substances (e.g. dye in a plastic product), information about any Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) and on safe handling must be communicated along the entire supply chain. Consumers are entitled to this information from merchants, importers or the manufacturer upon request. This right is guaranteed independent of actual purchase. Enquiries must be answered within 45 days. This right to information did not exist prior to REACH. Making an enquiry is quick and easy with the online form, which is available in German and English. All you need is to enter the number under the product bar code in the online form and provide your contact information for the reply. The online form automatically generates an enquiry to the manufacturer or importer. 

You can also choose to use Federal Environment Agency’s specimen letter in German or English to make an enquiry.

The duty to supply information applies for most objects, including household goods, textiles, shoes, sportswear, furniture, DIY products, electrical & electronic equipment, toys, vehicles, packaging etc. It does not extend to sectors governed by separate regulations such as, e.g., liquid or powdery products (e.g. paints, varnishes), medical devices, drugs, foods, cosmetics, detergents and cleaning agents, animal feed, plant protection agents and biocides.

Source: Umweltbundesamt

Chemikalien sind überall

Chemikalien sind überall und wir kommen täglich mit ihnen in Berührung: seien es Verpackungsmaterialien, Möbel oder Plastik-Badeschuhe. Nicht alle Chemikalien sind harmlos. Denn manche Chemikalien stehen im Verdacht krebserregend, erbgutverändernd oder fruchtbarkeitsschädigend wirken zu können. Leider sieht man das den Produkten nicht an.

Händler, Hersteller und Importeure müssen über besonders besorgniserregende Chemikalien in Produkten Auskunft geben, wenn Sie eine entsprechende Anfrage stellen - unabhängig vom Kauf. Mit dem Online-Formular auf www.reach-info.de ist eine Anfrage schnell gestellt.

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