Substances in articles

Articles are made up of different materials, including potential additives to achieve a specific function or property. Different materials may contain various substances. In PRIO, the information on a substance in a specific material may be a result of either an intended function of that substance as an additive, or a result of a manufacturing process, e.g. an impurity. In the Advanced Search function in PRIO, you can search for substances associated with a specific material.

How to divide an article into different types of material

  1. Prioritise which articles and materials you want to know more about.
  2. Find out what materials an article consists of by dividing it into different types of materials. You can use the main material categories below. The main categories may be further divided into subcategories. For example, textiles may be subdivided into vegetable fibres, cotton, regenerated cellulose fibres, synthetic fibers or wool. There are also many sub-categories of plastics and elastomers.
  3. Material (main categories)

    Material (main categories)



    Chemical product, material related




    Paper, papp


    Stone, plaster, cement


    Wood, cork

  4. Consider what functions the materials have that can be achieved chemically. Different substances may have been added to provide the article or material with colour, smell, sustainability, fire protection, impregnation, mold protection, softness etc.
  5. Turn to your supplier to find out more about the content of articles and materials. You can for example ask about which plasticiser has been used in plastic, whether the articles contain a certain substance, etc. You can turn to various industrial associations and research institutes for more information about different materials and the substances they may contain. You may also use the Search function in PRIO to identify what substances may be of relevance for a certain material. Note that PRIO is not an exhaustive source of all environmental and human health hazardous substances that may be of relevance for an article or a specific material.
  6. When you know what materials the articles are made of and which substances they contain, you can use the Search function in PRIO to obtain more information concerning the environmental and health properties of the substances.

In PRIO, the materials are categorised in 10 main categories that correspond to the categories that will be used in the SCIP database External link, opens in new window. (Substances of Concern In Articles as such or in complex objects (Products)). The SCIP database is established by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) under the Waste Framework Directive. As from 5 January 2021, companies supplying articles containing SVHC substances in a concentration above 0.1% w/w must submit this information to ECHA. The information will then be accessible in the SCIP database with the purpose to make it public through an article´s entire life cycle, including the waste stage.

Last published 6 October 2020