What does an article consist of?

An article, for example a drill or a paintbrush, may consist of several article parts.

These are complex articles, of which each article part has to be assessed individually. This means that if an article part contains more than 0.1% (w/w) of a Candidate List substance, you have a duty to communicate this. Therefore, when you have an article, you must first examine whether it consists of several article parts. You must then examine each article part individually. What material is it made of? 

The following example illustrates paintbrush in packaging. The brush consists of five article parts: bristles, metal ferrule, nails, handle and hook. However, the packaging around the brush is also an article. In this example, the packaging consists of four article parts: plastic bag, cardboard insert, cardboard label and staples. Thus, this relatively simple product consists of nine article parts to which you have to relate.

Note that an article can also contain hidden article parts. This is often the case for many electric items. Think of a drill, a lawn mower or a thermostat.

Once you have identified the individual article parts, you must examine what material they are made of: plastic, cardboard & paper, metal, wood, etc. The packaged paintbrush contains five different materials if cardboard & paper are categorised as the same group of materials.

Knowledge about the individual materials is the key to knowledge about what Candidate List substances your article parts may contain. The materials can be used as a filter in several databases on Candidate List substances. Reports also exist with information about the Candidate List substances found in a number of materials. For more information, go to: ”Candidate List substances databases and more information”.


Definition of an article

REACH defines articles as "an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition".  This definition covers most objects marketed by building centres and retailers (brushes, chairs, floorboards, packaging, etc.).  NB! Paint, glue and thinner are not articles. Read more in ECHA's guidance on articles


Complex articles

An article produced by gluing or welding together several article parts still consists of article parts. This means that even though article parts cannot easily be disassembled, you must still meet the communication requirement for each article part containing more than 0.1% (w/w) of a Candidate List substance.