The Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Basic Level Restricted Substances List (RSL) is a register of the chemicals that are banned from use in Cradle to Cradle Certified products above certain thresholds. These substances have been found to be harmful or toxic to the environment and human health.1 The RSL was created by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII), which established and administers the C2C Product Standard, a certification program that incentivizes environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing practices and evaluates the impacts of those practices.
The RSL indicates the maximum concentration of each restricted substance that is allowed in order for products to qualify for C2C certification. Products can be certified at one of five achievement levels (Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum), but all must be in compliance with these restrictions. There are also specific restrictions according to achievement level. Products that are awarded a Bronze level and above must go through a toxicological assessment using the C2C Material Health Assessment Methodology. In order to receive a Gold or Platinum certification, all product ingredients must be compatible with human and environmental health.2 C2C also offers a Material Health Certificate to products that adhere to RSL restrictions, as evaluated by accredited third-party assessors.
The RSL contains a master list of substances that are harmful or toxic in all products and materials, and additional lists that can be applied to specific materials or kinds of products. These sections include formulated consumer products, textiles, children’s products, and apparel and jewelry. It also includes broader substance groups, which can be used to avoid regrettable substitutions. Chemicals with similar structures often have similar properties and C2C encourages manufacturers to avoid using these as substitutions.Substances and substance groups on the RSL include organohalogens, halogenated flame retardants, chlorinated compounds, fluorinated compounds, phthalates, and certain heavy metals.
The RSL is updated periodically to align with leading international chemical regulations, particularly European regulations like REACH and RoHS. The Restricted Substances List was previously known as the Banned List.