Concern about the number of products in the marketplace containing unregulated biocides and EU harmonisation of labelling and product regulation has prompted the adoption of the Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC).
Topic: Green issues
New development: Biocidal Products Regulations ("BPR") Background: Concern about the number of products in the marketplace containing unregulated biocides and EU harmonisation of labelling and product regulation has prompted the adoption of the Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC). The currently under construction Biocidal Products Regulations ("BPR") are intended to incorporate this Directive into UK law. What will change: The new regulations will relate to all products consisting of or containing anti-bacterial biocides, such as household cleaners and disinfectants, garments, antiseptic soap and skin care products. A qualifying biocide is in broad terms an anti-bacterial agent "intended to control any harmful organism by chemical or biological means".
A number of products such as drugs and cosmetics will be exempt from the regulations, as they are already subject to other controls, but for others there will be strict registration, authorisation and identification procedures and new labelling and advertising rules.
For example, labels will have to specify the biocide contained within the product and any instructions necessary for its safe use, while labelling and advertising must not be misleading or make exaggerated claims. Certain phrases such as "non-toxic" or"low-risk" must not be used and every advertisement for a biocidal product will be required to contain appropriate wording such as "Use biocides safely. Always read the label and product information before use." There are also transitional provisions relating to biocide products already on the market.
Timetable: On 1 October 1999 the consultation period for the present draft BPR's ended.
Implementation of the Directive is due 14 May 2000.
By 14 May 2010 it is intended that every relevant product on the market will be either authorised or registered with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and must comply in full with the BPR.
What happens next: The proposed final form regulations will be published.