First restriction reviews under UK REACH

7 April 2021

The Government has set out its plans for restriction work that will be carried out in the first year of UK REACH to further reduce risks posed by hazardous substances.

A review of the evidence on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), lead ammunition and certain substances found in tattoo inks and permanent make-up will be conducted Health and Safety Executive (HSE), with support from the Environment Agency (EA).

  • Lead ammunition is used widely in the shooting industry and causes harm to the environment, wildlife and people.

  • The ink in tattoos can sometimes contain substances that can cause health effects, most commonly skin reactions, such as irritation or sensitisation. The substances this restriction proposal will consider includes, but is not limited to, substances that can cause cancer, are dangerous to reproduction, skin sensitisers and irritants. A restriction will be introduced if evidence shows an unacceptable risk to human health and the environment, and after a public consultation.

  • PFAS are a group of over 9000 different chemicals, some of which are already banned or highly restricted. In industry, these substances are used as stain repellents, coatings and fire-fighting foams. The chemicals in PFAS are extremely persistent in the environment; the substances can accumulate in animals and can also be toxic this means PFAS are of growing concern for both human health and environmental reasons.