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The SIN List as model for the identification of Substances of Very High Concern
  1. Jerker J Ligthart
  1. International Chemical Secretariat (ChemSec), Gothenburg, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Jerker J Ligthart, International Chemical Secretariat - ChemSec, Norra Allégatan 5, Gothenburg SE-41301, Sweden; jerker{at}

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With REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals), the new chemicals legislation in the EU, now well into its third year, only a handful of chemicals have so far been identified as Substances of Very High Concern - SVHCs. Considering the large number of chemicals known to cause cancer, to bio-accumulate and persist in nature, this is merely a first small step of a clearly longer journey. All stakeholders are looking for guidance to move forward, and here the SIN* List (*Substitute It Now) serves as a model for the identification of SVHCs.

The SIN List, which identifies substances that fulfil the REACH criteria for SVHCs, offers assistance to companies and consumers concerned by legal uncertainties in the official process of SVHC identification. At the same time the SIN List demonstrates for regulators which chemicals are being prioritised by NGOs.

In June 2007, the new EU policy on chemicals, REACH, entered into force. The ability of REACH to protect human health and the environment will depend on a prompt process for identifying the most hazardous chemicals on the European market and replacing them with safer alternatives. At the heart of this process is the …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.