At Advance, we take compliance seriously. Adhesive tapes have a very broad range of important applications, and many of our users are strictly prohibited from using tapes that don’t meet the necessary standards. One good example is electrical insulation tape, which must adhere to national and international safety standards.
It’s not necessarily obvious which products are compliant with the required regulations, or why this might be important. Here we explain one of the most important European standards in this field, known as REACH.
Why is REACH important?
REACH is short for a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals. The legislation came into force on June 1st 2007, replacing several previous European Directives and Regulations with a single system. It applies to any chemical substance of which one tonne or more per year is manufactured or imported into the EU.
The main aim of the legislation is to protect humans and the environment from any harm caused by the use of chemicals. However, it is also intended to raise awareness among manufacturers and importers of chemical substances, so that they understand their responsibility for the risks associated with use of the chemicals and are able to manage them accordingly.
REACH legislation is also designed to allow the free movement of substances on the EU market by simplifying the system as much as possible. Last but not least, it encourages innovation within the EU chemicals industry and incentivises both manufacturers and users to move away from potentially harmful practices.
How to comply with REACH
In order to comply with REACH, businesses that import or manufacture one tonne or more of any chemical substance have to register that substance with the European Chemicals Agency, providing information about properties of the substance as well as any hazards and risks. The agency carries out additional assessments and makes its recommendations regarding how those risks can be controlled.
As per REACH, manufacturers and importers of chemical substances are also required to inform users about any hazardous properties of the substance. All information has to be displayed clearly on the product label.
Another important feature of REACH is the requirement to provide a Safety Data Sheet which is to be updated at every stage of the supply chain. For the purposes of health and safety, all users have to be informed of how to safely use and store any chemical substance.
What does REACH mean for tapes manufacturers?
As we’ve outlined, any tape manufacturer that operates within the EU market and manufacturers or exports more than the one tonne threshold of any given chemical is legally obligated to comply with REACH (and register with the European Chemical Agency).
In order to do that, all the expectations above have to be met. Compliance therefore includes clear labelling, ensuring all relevant health and safety information is displayed prominently for the benefit of end users. Additionally, the Safety Data Sheet needs to be updated by every manufacturer or importer in the supply chain.
Choosing a REACH-compliant tape
At Advance, one of most important goals is to make it easy for users to choose the right tape for the job. That’s why you’ll find important health and safety information, as well as key features and recommended applications, on all of our product pages (and in many cases, on the packaging of each product). This is also one of the reasons that tapes like our AT7 Electrical Insulation Tape are compliant with all the required safety standards, including REACH.
Do you have any questions about REACH, or any other aspects of health and safety regarding adhesive tapes? Our friendly team is happy to help. Get in touch via contact form or call us on 0116 251 0191.