Glass for Europe statement on
REACH and the composition of float glass
According to the definitions of the European Directive on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals 1907/2006 (REACH), glass is a single “substance” of “unknown or variable composition, complex reaction product, or biological material”. It is exempted from the registration requirement under certain conditions laid down in Annex V (11) of REACH.
Glass is not a mixture or a preparation and does not contain the individual separate elements, or their oxides, or other substances .
European manufacturers of float glass regularly analyse their products using equipment with an elemental detection limit of 10 ppm, or lower. Float glass is a substance composed primarily of Si, Na, Ca, Mg, Al, K, Fe, Ti, S and O (commonly called “soda lime silicate” glass). Pb, Cr, As, Sb, V may be present in float glass as trace level contaminants, always below 20 ppm. Tinted glass may contain Co, Se or Ni, up to 200 ppm.
FLOAT GLASS DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY SUBSTANCES OF VERY HIGH CONCERN (SVHC) IDENTIFIED IN ANNEX XIV OF REACH OR CANDIDATES FOR SVHC STATUS.
According to REACH, float glass products are “articles”. Registration and notification of substances in articles (under article 7.1 of the REACH regulation) is not required in the case of float glass, since is it made of a single substance “glass”.
 Chemists sometimes express glass compositions as mixtures of oxides for comparative purposes. However, soda-lime silicate glass is an amorphous inorganic substance obtained from different inorganic raw materials which react at high temperature to form a new random network, where different elements are linked together, typically by oxygen bridges, arranged in such a way that no free oxides are present.