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EU REACH: Guideline on PAH restriction in consumer products published

april 2018 - Relevant for: Electrical & electronics, Hardlines, Softlines, Toys & children's products INDUSTRY

On 28 March 2018, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published a guideline on the scope of restriction on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in consumer products1 under entry 50 (paragraphs 5 to 8) of Annex XVII to REACH.

On 7 December 2013, REACH restriction on PAH in consumer products was published as Regulation (EU) 1272/20132, and amended the PAH restriction in entry 50 of REACH Annex XVII. From 27 December 2015, all articles which fall within the scope of this restriction and do not comply with the requirements, should not be placed on the European Union (EU) market.

Following the request from the European Commission (EC), ECHA prepared the guideline to assist stakeholders and enforcement authorities in understanding and complying this restriction. This guideline explained the scope of the restriction (e.g. “placed on the market for supply to the general public”, “rubber and plastic components”, “direct as well as prolonged contact or short-term repetitive contact with human skin or the oral cavity”). It clarified the coated article should fall within the scope of the restriction if the coating contains a synthetic organic polymer and the article is in contact with the skin or oral cavity. It also provided non-exhaustive lists of article (and examples of sub-types) which fall within or out of the scope of the restriction.

Below are some examples of products which fall within or out of the scope of the restriction.


Examples of products which fall within of the scope:

  • sport equipment (e.g. bicycles, helmets, yoga mats, sports balls, ski goggles, etc.);
  • household utensils, trolleys, walking frames (e.g. thermos bottles, trolleys and trolley bags, PC keyboards, PC mouse, mobile devices, etc.);
  • tools for domestic use;
  • clothing, footwear, gloves and sportswear;
  • watch-straps, wrist-bands, masks, head-bands;
  • toys and childcare articles (e.g. toy cars and trains, bath toys, rubber balloons, baby walkers, high chairs, etc.).

Examples of products which are out of the scope:

  • light switches;
  • power switches of different devices (e.g. coffee machine, TV);
  • AC adaptors;
  • bicycle tyres.

[1] Guideline on the scope of the Entry 50 (paragraphs 5 to 8) of Annex XVII to REACH
[2] Regulation (EU) 1272/2013

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