The European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has published the first EU Classification and Labelling Inventory (C&L). It classifies all chemical substances used in the EU, allowing for the identification of potentially hazardous ones.

Taken as a measure to ensure the safer use of hazardous materials, the inventory compiles information about more than 100,000 substances submitted by manufacturers and importers.

It follows the Classification and Labelling Regulation (CLP) that complemented the European regulation on chemicals and their safe use on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH).

As suppliers provide different classifications and labelling for the same substance, the list can be used as a basis for discussions among companies to agree on the most correct and uniform classification of substances, facilitating the task to correctly classify and label substances and mixtures.

While classification determines content of the labels of products used by workers and consumers, the inventory will increase transparency and improve safety for all those handling chemicals.

It may contain divergent information for identical substances and will be a basis for companies to undertake efforts to agree on a uniform classification for a given substance as required by the regulation.

CLP aims to protect the human health, environment and functioning of the internal market by harmonising the classification of substances and mixtures.

The regulation is in line with the UN Globally Harmonised System for classification and labelling (GHS), whose aim is to achieve global convergence of classification systems for chemicals.


Caption: As suppliers provide different classifications and labelling for the same substances, the EU inventory can help facilitate the process of identifying a chemical. Photo: posterize