Mobile application Scan4Chem allows consumers to find out whether the products they regularly use contain substances that cause concern.
What are the substances that cause concern?
Substances of very high concern (SVHC) can cause cancer, gene mutations, reduce fertility, affect fetal development, and interfere with the endocrine system (so-called endocrine disruptors).
Besides, these substances are slow to degrade in the environment, which means that they can, for a long time, threaten human health. What is also important about these substances is that they accumulate in living organisms (we absorb them faster than it takes for them to be released from the body)- higher the exposure the effect will be more dangerous.
SVHC can be found in many products we use every day.
Children disorders, sterility in women and men, and diabetes are just some of the diseases that can be significantly associated with SVHC exposure.
The most well-known substances of concern that can be found in products are phthalates, flame retardants, bisphenol A and perfluorinated substances. Phthalate is often used in plastic products, it can have a detrimental effect on reproductive health. Flame retarders are applied to spongy parts of furniture, carpets, car seats. They are transmitted through the air and skin, and they affect the work of the endocrine system. Bisphenol A, the globally most commercial chemical, is found in plastic water bottles and has been proven to have a detrimental effect on the endocrine system. Perfluorinated substances release on damaged Teflon dishes
explained Jasminka Randjelovic, ALHem’s program coordinator.
Phthalate -detrimental effect on reproductive health.
Perfluorinated substances release on damaged Teflon dishes
Bisphenol A -detrimental effect on the endocrine system
Flame retarders are transmitted through the air and skin, and they affect the work of the endocrine system.
How can we detect these substances?
Many chemicals in products remain below the radar, meaning they are not visible on product declarations. Only if the percentage of substances in the product is above 0.1%, Law on Chemicals obliges manufacturers to inform their consumers about the product composition.
The Scan4Chem mobile application gives users the opportunity to, by scanning the product barcode, send an inquiry to the producer and find out if the product contains some of the substances of concern. Only if the consumers send product composition inquiries to the producer, the Law obligates them to respond and name all of the substances that are part of their product.
The Scan4Chem application has been launched in 13 European countries.
This application aims to create a database according to the responses of the producers. In that way, if the company has already responded to the consumers’ inquiries all the other consumers will immediately have access to that information. To collect valuable data, we have to ask as many companies as possible to provide us with information about the product composition.
All consumers have to gain forces and enable this application to work in the best possible way.
Which products can and can't be scanned with Scan4shem application?
Paints and varnishes
The launch of the application is part of a European project implemented by the “LIFE AskREACH” consortium of 20 organizations led by the German State Environmental Agency (UBA). ALHem, a Serbian organization that brings together chemists and other experts with experience in handling hazardous chemicals is also part of this project.
Download the application and check if the products you use are harmful for you and your family: