IKEA and the new EU legislation on chemicals, REACH
- All IKEA products for all markets, globally, shall comply with the chemical restrictions in the EU REACH regulation.
- IKEA products shall always be safe, both for the environment and human health. Our approach is to always minimize or totally refrain from the use of chemicals and substances that can be harmful to people and the environment and to choose better alternatives whenever possible.
- The EU REACH requirements are in line with how IKEA works with chemicals. The precautionary principle and substitution principle are the basis for how both REACH and IKEA works with chemicals.
- IKEA is continually working with chemicals and is trying to phase-out the use of questionable substances. Some examples; IKEA has set an early voluntary ban on PVC (decided 1991) except in cables, an early ban of all organic brominates flame retardants in furniture (effective from 2000) and a ban on formaldehyde emitting paints and lacquers on all products (effective from 1993).
- To our knowledge there is no IKEA product containing any SVHC identified on the proposal for "REACH candidate list" (October 2008), except for phthalates in PVC in some lighting cables. Possible alternative materials for cables have been identified and will, after evaluation of safety matters, be introduced.
- The IKEA interpretations of REACH requirements are in line with the way IKEA handles chemicals. For example, IKEA has interpreted the 0.1% demand on Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) in the strictest way, i.e. based the percentage on homogeneous material and not on the whole article.
In this case the IKEA interpretation might differ from interpretations made by others, meaning that IKEA is going further than REACH requirements.
- If applicable, IKEA applies the strictest health, safety and environmental requirements in any specific retail market to all our retail markets. For chemicals used in our products, restrictions are outlined in an internal company specification called “Chemical compounds and substances”. Together with other material and product specifications and requirements, this specification comprises the binding contract between our suppliers and IKEA. To follow-up on fulfilment of requirements we carry out random checks, tested by a third party.
- IKEA is well aware of the new information duty regarding levels over 0,1% of SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern) in any product. If such products are identified, IKEA will not only state the name of the chemical as required by the legislation, but also explain the reason for why this substance is present in the product. We will also explain any possible implication for the user.