Scan4Chem App Checks Substances in Products

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  • Published: 05 January 2020
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
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The smartphone app Scan4Chem developed by the EU LIFE project AskREACH can be used by consumers in Europe. Consumers can scan the barcode of a product with the free app and send a request to the supplier to obtain information about the presence of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) above a 0.1 % threshold in that product .

According to Article 33 (2) of the EU chemicals regulation REACH, every consumer in the EU has the “right to know”. This means, consumers have the right to send a request to the producer or retailer of a product to obtain information about the presence of SVHCs above a 0.1 % threshold in that product. The more this right is exercised, the more transparent and attentive the system becomes. The app wants to help consumers in this respect.

Product suppliers can submit their product information to the database connected to the app. If they did so, the information is readily available for the next requesters. The more suppliers enter SVHC product information in the Europe-wide database, the easier it will become for consumers to immediately receive SVHC information for the products they are scanning. To stimulate suppliers to submit information to the database, consumers need to show an interest and actively send information requests. Therefore, the success of the app, and in the end of safe products for humans and the environment, lies also in the hands of the consumers.

Consumer products such as toys, clothing, furniture, and electronics can be checked for SVHCs in the app. Product groups that have an ingredient list, like food, cosmetics, and household chemicals, are not covered by REACH Art. 33 (2).

The launch of the app has started in Germany, Luxembourg, and Sweden, apps for Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, and Serbia will be launched successively in early 2020. The apps are available in the local languages. Sometimes the name of the app is adjusted to the country/language to make it easier to understand its purpose. Examples are: Tjek Kemien, Pytaj o chemię, Kemikalieappen, or ToxFox. The ultimate aim is to establish regional apps in most European countries over the next three years.




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