The database PRIO is a tool primarily intended to help companies to find and replace hazardous substances in their articles and chemical products. PRIO can also be used by inspectors as a source of knowledge about dangerous substances. Among other things, the database PRIO contains information on properties that are hazardous to health and the environment regarding almost 10,000 chemical substances. PRIO also supports finding hazardous substances that can be present in articles consisting of different materials such as plastic and textiles.
How can inspectors use PRIO?
As an environmental and health protection inspector you can, for instance, use the PRIO tool as a source of knowledge and as a basis for discussion when visiting companies.
By searching the database PRIO you can, among other things, get information about the substances' environmentally and health hazardous properties, and whether a substance meets any criteria for being regarded as a phase-out substance or a priority risk reduction substance.
PRIO can also help you find examples of substances that can be found in different types of materials such as plastic, wood or textiles. In this way, you can find out which dangerous substances can be found in articles such as furniture or electronic products.
How can companies use PRIO?
Companies can use the PRIO tool regardless of whether they manufacture, import, use or sell chemical products or articles such as furniture and textiles. PRIO is especially useful for those who work with purchasing chemical products and articles, those who develop new products, those who sell articles and for environmental managers in companies and organizations of all kinds.
PRIO can be a help for companies to work systematically to replace and avoid hazardous substances. PRIO gives easy access to information about
- substances and groups of substances that have dangerous properties
- examples of hazardous substances and groups of substances that can be found in different types of materials
- examples of hazardous substances and groups of substances that can be found in different types of chemical products
- which substance or substances you should prioritise to replace or avoid.
PRIO can also help companies structure their chemical work, document and systematise their chemicals. This in turn can help them keep ahead of legislation.
PRIO is a tool developed by the Swedish Chemicals Agency to help companies and businesses to keep track of their hazardous chemicals. PRIO is not included in any laws or legislation but is rather a tool for those who want to go a little further than the legislation requires and keep one step ahead. The basis for PRIO are the so-called general rules of consideration that are found in the second chapter of the Environmental Code. The so-called product selection principle – the substitution principle – is one of the rules of consideration.
The product selection principle means that everyone who conducts a business must, as far as possible, avoid such chemical products that may pose a risk to human health or the environment, if they can be replaced with products that can be assumed to be less dangerous. The same applies to articles that contain or have been treated with a chemical product.
The criteria for phase-out substances in PRIO largely corresponds to the criteria for particularly hazardous substances, so-called SVHC substances, in the REACH Regulation. Substances with such hazardous properties may be included in the so-called Candidate List in REACH and may eventually require a permit to be used or placed on the market in the EU. Other substances included in the database PRIO may also be banned or restricted in certain uses or be subject to requirements in rules in other ways.
The criteria for phase-out substances and priority risk reduction substances are largely based on the criteria for hazardous properties contained in the EU Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging, CLP Regulation.
PRIO helps companies prioritise which substances they should focus on when they want to avoid hazardous substances. There are two priority levels in the tool, phase-out substances and priority risk reduction substances.
Phase-out substances have the most serious hazardous properties for health and the environment and are most important to replace or avoid. The criteria for phase-out substances correspond to those for particularly hazardous substances (SVHC substances) in the EU REACH Regulation, and particularly dangerous substances according to the Swedish environmental quality objective A Non-toxic Environment.
Substances with slightly less serious properties are identified in PRIO as priority risk reduction substances. The criteria for priority risk reduction substances have been developed by the Swedish Chemicals Agency.
The PRIO tool is not intended to be used as a basis for a ban. PRIO aims to support companies in their work to replace hazardous substances in products or processes with less hazardous substances or with other alternatives. The fact that a substance is considered a phase-out substance or a priority risk reduction substance according to the criteria in PRIO does not in itself imply any form of ban.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the County Administrative Boards are responsible for guidance of supervision regarding activities that use chemical products. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has produced a guide for supervision of the so-called product selection principle in the general rules of consideration in the Environmental Code. Among other things, the guidance covers what to check regarding the product selection principle when supervising a business.
Both you as an inspector and the companies can get support from PRIO to find hazardous substances that can be present in articles, such as furniture and textiles. All articles consist of different materials, such as plastic, ceramics, wood, or textiles. When searching for a specific material in PRIO, you get examples of dangerous substances that the material may contain. Regarding some substances the database also includes information on which materials the substance may occur in.
You can search in the database PRIO for individual substances and groups of substances. You can also search for and retrieve information on a wide variety of substances at the same time. It is also possible to search for different types of materials, such as plastic, ceramics or textiles and get examples of hazardous substances that may be present in the materials.
How can I use the information found in PRIO?
The search results from PRIO can be saved in an Excel file on your computer. This helps you to communicate in a concrete and clear way about the information you have obtained.