Restricted chemicals
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What are restricted chemicals?subir

Restrictions are a tool to protect human health and the environment from unacceptable risks posed by chemicals. A Member State, or ECHA on request of the European Commission, can propose restrictions if they find that the risks need to be addressed on a Community wide basis. Therefore, the EU may impose restrictions, prohibitions or establish conditions for the manufacturing, marketing and use of certain hazardous substances or mixtures whenever risks identified for such chemicals are unacceptable and do not ensure human health and environmental protection.

Restriction applies to any substance on its own, in a mixture or in an article, including those that do not require registration. It can also apply to imports.

The total prohibition of a substance implies that none of its uses is authorised.

Restrictions can be applied to all or to specific uses. (e.g. 1-Chloroethylene is restricted for use as aerosol propellant).

Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (commonly known as REACH) includes a list of all restricted chemicals, as well as conditions for their use and the specific uses they are restricted to.

What to do ?subir

A substance on its own, in a preparation or in an article, for which Annex XVII contains a restriction shall not be manufactured, placed on the market or used unless it complies with the conditions of that restriction.

Substances subject to restrictions are hazardous chemicals, and therefore must be used under strictly controlled conditions since their manufacture, marketing or use represent unacceptable risks for human health or the environment.

All uses of restricted substances that are not specifically restricted are authorised under REACH, unless the substance is also subjected to the REACH authorisation process. In such cases all uses are prohibited unless authorisation for a specific use is issued.

The serious damages caused by exposure to restricted substances make the highly dangerous substances and their elimination/substitution shall be proposed as a preventive measure according with the first principle of preventive action expressed in the Directive on safety and health of workers at work.


Annex XVII of Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 (REACH) includes the full list of restrictions on the manufacture, placing on the market and use of certain dangerous substances, preparations and articles.


  • Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC.

  • Council Directive of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (89/391/EEC)

  • Council Directive 98/24/EC of 7 April 1998 on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work (fourteenth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC)


The list of restricted substances was developed from the following sources:

ListSourceDate of publication/consultation

Restricted chemicals

Regulation (EC) 1907/2006

Annex XVII
January 2014

Last updatesubir

January 2014


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