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REACH

Restrictions

Entry 16-17 of Annex XVII to REACH-lead compounds in paints

What is the definition of paints in the context of entries 16 and 17 of Annex XVII? In particular, are children's paint sets, and also other stationery-type paints such as artist paints and do-it-yourself (DIY) decorations for t-shirts also covered?

The REACH Regulation does not provide a specific definition for paints.
According to a general meaning, paint is a mixture, usually of a liquid with a solid pigment. Furthermore, Commission Decision 2009/544/EC (establishing the ecological criteria for the EU Ecolabel to indoor paints and varnishes) provides  the following definition: 'Paint' means a pigmented coating material, in liquid or in paste or powder form, which when applied to a substrate, forms an opaque film having protective, decorative or specific technical properties.
The abovementioned definitions provide an indication of what could be generally considered as a paint in the context of entries 16-17 of Annex XVII (to REACH) provisions.

It should be noted that the restrictions in entries 16-17 of Annex XVII only allow Member States to permit the use of paints containing the restricted substances for the restoration and maintenance of works of art and historic buildings and their interiors. Thus children's paint sets and other stationery-type paints such as artist paints and do-it-yourself (DIY) decorations for t-shirts must not contain the restricted substances.

Concerning children's paint sets, these may also be covered by the Toys Directive (Directive 2009/48/EC on the safety of Toys), which lays down limits for the presence of lead in toys.

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