REACH Polymer Status determined with GPC/SEC

Daniela Held and Friedhelm Gores

Introduction

REACH (short for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) came into force on June 1st 2007 and applies in all EU member states.

Polymers are “special substances” in terms of REACH. However, companies have to prove that their products/educts are polymers.

A polymer molecule in the sense of REACH is a molecule that contains a sequence of at least 3 monomer units M, covalently bound to at least one other monomer unit or reactant (initiator).

This definition is the so called (3M+1) – rule.

Additional requirements are:

  1. Over 50 percent of the weight for that substance consists of polymer molecules (> 3M+1).
  2. The amount of polymer molecules with the same chain length must be less than 50 weight
    percent of the substance.