REACh (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is an EU regulation that entered into force on 1 June 2007. It is valid in all member states and is intended to simplify the existing chemicals legislation. The registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals is to be based on the principle of industry's own responsibility and improve the protection of human health and the environment. The manufacturers and importers of substances will be held responsible, so that only chemical substances that have been previously registered will be put on the market. In addition, REACH is intended to expand communication in the supply chain, giving downstream users (such as compounders) certain tasks and obligations. The downstream users must inform the upstream manufacturers or importers of the substances subject to registration which further use is intended for the substances. The manufacturer or importer can thus recommend risk reduction measures which the downstream user must also comply with. Accordingly, the safety data sheet continues to play an important role.
RoHS (Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances) serves to restrict the use of certain hazardous substances mainly in the electronics sector. Due to the significant increase in disposable electronics, problematic components that are poorly degradable and thus accumulate in the nature must be banned from products.
The problematic substances are lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers. As it is not always possible to completely exclude these hazardous substances from production, certain limit values have been set. However, the production standards are to be gradually adapted and substitute products are also to be developed, so that the regulations of the RoHS directive are reviewed again at certain intervals and adapted to the current state of the art.