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No. 33/ 2009 The German branch of environmental group Friends of the Earth(BUND), will shortly launch a campaign to encourage German consumers to ask companies whether products contain substances of very high concern (SVHCs). The NGO is printing some 30,000 leaflets explaining to consumers that Article 33 of REACH requires product suppliers to respond within 45 days to requests for “sufficient information” about whether their products contain any SVHCs. It will encourage consumers to write to companies and then tell BUND about their responses. The leaflets will be mailed to the organisation's members and handed to consumers outside stores, and a copy will be posted on BUND's website.


The Czech NGO Děti Země (Children of the Earth) also sent letters by registered post to 24 retailers and a number of product manufacturers, including major multinationals like Tesco, IKEA and Panasonic as well as Czech firms, asking them whether their products contained any SVHCs.The Czech Environmental Inspectorate (CIZP) plans to launch an enforcement campaign in 2010 that will be aimed at retailers.
Earlier this year the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) tested 27 plastic shoes bought in seven countries, including four bought in Sweden, to see if they contained phthalates, heavy metals, azo dyes, tin organic compounds or polyaromatic hydrocarbons.
Two of the shoes bought in Sweden contained the phthalates DEHP and DBP, which are on the Candidate List of substances put forward for authorisation because of concerns about their reprotoxic properties. As well as Sweden, the survey team bought shoes in the Philippines, Uganda, Tanzania, India, South Africa and Indonesia. All were bought from major retail chains. The analyses showed that 17 of the 27 shoes that were tested contained one or more of the six tested phthalates, with most containing two or three phthalates. DEHP was present in all of these. The highest DEHP content, 23%, was found in a pair of flip-flops from South Africa.
Information Source:


BUND activity 
SSNC news release
Deti Zeme press release (in Czech) with company rankings
New list of 15 Candidate SVHCs SGS Taiwan Ltd. Taipei Multi Chemical Laboratory t: +886 2 2299 3279
Ext.3103-3124
f: +886 2 2299 3237
Email
Web: www.tw.sgs.com SGS Taiwan Ltd. Kaohsiung Multi Chemical Laboratory t: +886-7-3012121
Ext. 4101 ~ 4106
f: +886-7-3010867

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With more than 56,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.