What is not a substance?

Mixtures

A mixture is a mix or solution of two or more substances. Under the EU chemicals legislation, mixtures are not considered substances.


Diagram whichpresents the making of a mixture
When chemical compounds A and B are put together and do not react, this is not a substance but a mixture.
 

Mixtures can be:

  • shampoos and soaps,
  • other cosmetics,
  • detergents, and
  • paints.

If you are producing or importing a mixture, you need to register each individual substance in your mixture if you produce or import it at one tonne or more per year.

If you are a formulator who mixes the individual substances to produce the mixture, you do not need to register each substance under REACH unless you are also a manufacturer or importer of the individual substances contained in the mixture.

Articles

You may use substances to produce things that have a special shape, surface or design. When the special shape, surface or design determines the function to a greater degree than the chemical composition, these are called articles under the legislation.


A diagram presentng the making of an article

Chemical compounds A and B are put together and to produce an article.

Articles can be:

  • pencils (crayons),
  • bicycles,
  • guitars,
  • batteries,
  • T-shirts, and
  • CDs.

If you are producing or importing an article, you need to register each individual substance in an article:

  • if the substance is present in the article in quantities of over one tonne per year; and
  • if the substance is intended to be released under normal conditions of use, for example a t-shirt containing a fragrance.

If the substance in your article has already been registered for the same use, you do not need to register it as well.