Consumer App inquiry results in international company taking product off the market

07 / 05 / 2018

Following a consumer information request on substances of very high concern (SVHC) sent via the ToxFox app, the sporting goods’ manufacturer Decathlon took immediate action and discontinued the sales of a bicycle care set that was found to contain the harmful plasticiser diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP). 

“Following your request and the subsequent test result, we decided to immediately remove the product from stock in Germany. All branches have been instructed to remove the product immediately from their shelves. The sale of the product has also discontinued in our online shop. We are investigating how this oversight could have occurred,” said Genevieve Mulack, spokeswoman for Decathlon, in response to the ToxFox user.
The plasticiser was identified in the cleaning brushes of the bicycle care set Kit Brosses Nettoyage during Decathlon’s internal quality control following the consumer’s request. Plasticisers can interfere with the human hormone balance and cause damage to health, as well as the environment.

Apps as the ultimate tool to inform consumers about SVHC

The ToxFox app is run by the German environmental organisation BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany). Consumers can scan barcodes and obtain information on SVHC in products from the associated database or request this information from suppliers if it is not yet available in the database. Suppliers are obliged to provide information on SVHC in their products within 45 days.
This case is a good example of companies handling their responsibilities under Article 33 of the REACH Regulation. The ToxFox success further highlights the significance of a Europe-wide consumer app and database, such as the ones under development by the project LIFE AskREACH.


Photo: The German environmental organisation BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany)

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