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SVHC list updated

Outlining a number of recent additions to this important legislation which may affect footwear producers.

The REACH Candidate List now contains 233 substances that may have serious effects on human health or the environment. These are known as ‘substances of very high concern’ (SVHCs) and fall under the authorisation category of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). If a substance has a potential to be: i) persistent, bio accumulative and toxic for the environment, ii) carcinogenic, iii) mutagenic and iv) toxic for reproduction, it may be added to the Candidate List of substances of very high concern. The aim of the Candidate List is to promote the replacement of these substances wherever feasible with less dangerous alternatives.

The latest revision

The Candidate List was updated in January 2023 with the addition of nine new substances:

The reaction mass of 2,2,3,3,5,5,6,6-octafluoro-4-(1,1,1,2,3,3,3-heptafluoropropan-2-yl)morpholine and 2,2,3,3,5,5,6,6-octafluoro-4-(heptafluoropropyl)morpholine has been used in articles, in formulation and manufacturing, and is classified as being ‘very persistent and very bioaccumulative’ (abbreviated to ‘vPvB)’.

Perfluoroheptanoic acid and its salts – ammonium perfluoroheptanoate (CAS 6130-43-4), potassium perfluoroheptanoate (CAS 21049-36-5), perfluoroheptanoic acid (CAS 375-85-9) and sodium perfluoroheptanoate (CAS 20109-59-5). These substances have been used in stain and greaseproof coatings for food packaging and heavy-duty textiles, and are classified as ‘toxic to reproduction’ and ‘persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic’.

Melamine (CAS 108-78-1) could be found in articles such as flooring, furniture, toys, curtains, footwear, leather products, paper and cardboard products. Typical uses for this substance include as a flame retardant additive in order to increase the product’s resistance to the effects of high temperatures.

Isobutyl 4-hydroxybenzoate (CAS 4247-02-3) has been used in the production of anti-microbial coatings of products and is classified as having endocrine disrupting properties.

Bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate, which covers any of the individual isomers and/or combinations thereof. Bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate (CAS 26040-51-7) has been used as a flame retardant in the manufacturing of polyurethane (PU) foam, and is typically used for the cushioning found in furniture and as a plasticiser in flexible polyvinylchloride (PVC). This substance could also be found in articles such as flooring, toys, curtains, footwear, leather products, paper and cardboard products, and is classified as ‘very persistent and very bioaccumulate’.

Barium diboron tetraoxide (CAS 13701-59-2) has been used in paint products, as a coating product and in the production of some polymers. This substance is known to be toxic to reproduction.

4,4’-sulphonyldiphenol (CAS 80-09-1) has been used in leather treatments, dyes, polymers and coating products, and could be found in a wide range of articles and everyday consumer products, although its most common uses are as epoxy resins. It has been classified as being ‘toxic to reproduction’ and has ‘endocrine disrupting’ properties.

2,2’,6,6’-tetrabromo-4,4’-isopropylidenediphenol (CAS 79-94-7) has been used in the formulation of polymers as a flame retardant, but can also be found in articles such as flooring, furniture, toys, curtains, footwear, leather products, paper and cardboard products. It has been deemed as ‘carcinogenic’ and is currently under review for being ‘persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic’ as well as ‘endocrine disrupting’.

1,1’-[ethane-1,2-diylbisoxy]bis[2,4,6-tribromobenzene] (CAS 37853-59-1) is classified as’ very persistent and very bioaccumulate’.

Legal obligations

The candidate list is generally updated in January and June of each year and companies have six months after a substance’s addition to adhere to any legal obligations that may apply. For example, consumers can request information on SVHCs contained in a product from the supplier or retailer, who are obliged to provide a response within 45 days. More information on these legal obligations can be found in the article ‘REACH substances of very high concern’.

How can we help?

Please email SATRA at for assistance with REACH and restricted substances legislation, as well as the testing of footwear and leathergoods against restricted substances lists.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 21 of the February 2023 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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