In the most common chemical substance management measures, new substances are evaluated according to law requirements, and those confirmed as safe are allowed to be used. On the other hand, substances that were already in use before the law was enacted are regarded as "existing" substances, over which administrative agencies are in charge of safety evaluation. However, the evaluation process has not been proceeded quickly enough.
To break through this situation, European Union (EU) introduced the REACH Regulation, which has a registration system that requires enterprises to evaluate the risks of existing substances as well, if they are to be used continuously. At the same time, the REACH Regulation aims at the safe use of chemical substances through information-sharing on chemical substance content and hazardousness throughout a supply chain. Panasonic supports the objective of REACH and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) based on WSSD's Johannesburg Plan to further improve the chemical management not only in EU but throughout the world.
Article 33 of REACH requires all suppliers of articles in EU to provide information about Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) defined by the REACH Regulation to their customers and consumers when those substances are present in a concentration of more than 0.1% of article's weight.
DEHP, one of the phthalates which is listed in SVHC candidate list is commonly known to be contained in cables of electric and electronic equipment. Some of our products may contain it in their cables. Detailed safety information of DEHP is available on the URL shown below following to REACH requirement.
As an example of our products containing a substance from the SVHC candidate list other than DEHP, refractory ceramic fiber (RCF) is used as an internal insulator in some microwave ovens for professional use in some countries. Also, detailed safety information of RCF is available on the URL shown below following to REACH requirement. From 2011, RCF has been eliminated for microwave ovens for professional use in Europe. It will also be eliminated in other countries soon.