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The science behind the SIN List

The SIN List is a comprehensive list of substances that has been identified by ChemSec as fulfilling the criteria for Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC), as described in the EU chemicals regulation REACH article 57.

Three categories are included in REACH article 57, and the SIN List encompasses substances from these three categories:

  • The first category is chemicals that can cause cancer, alter DNA or damage reproductive systems. These are called CMR substances (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Toxic to reproduction).
  • Then there are harmful substances that do not easily break down and accumulate in the food chain. These are known as PBT substances (short for Persistent, Bio-accumulative and Toxic). There is also the abbreviation vPvB, short for very Persistent and very Bio-accumulative.
  • The third category is called “substances of equivalent concern”. This category covers substances that are not covered by the other two categories, but which nonetheless give rise to an equivalent level of concern in terms of potential damage to health and the environment.
    This category includes, for example, endocrine-disrupting chemicals as well as sensitisers and chemicals with specific organ toxicity. This category now also includes chemicals that are Persistent, Mobile and Toxic (PMT) or very Persistent and very Mobile (vPvM).

The following pages describe in brief how chemicals within the different substance categories have been identified for inclusion on the SIN List.

Further details on the methodology for identifying a substance category, as well as the scientific references considered when including specific chemicals, are available on request.