One third of chemical products labelled incorrectly - Chemicals In Our Life

One third of chemical products labelled incorrectly

An EU enforcement project shows that 1 out of 3 inspected mixtures, such as washing and cleaning products, are not correctly labelled. Inspections also showed that many liquid laundry detergent outer packaging could not withstand repeated use.

Whenever you use a washing or cleaning product such as paint removers or coatings or even room fragrances, you are using a mixture of different chemicals. To make sure you know how to use them safely, companies producing and selling the products have to include information about safe use on the package.

An EU enforcement project with inspectors from across Europe checked whether that information was correct and sufficient for mixtures that are hazardous. In total, 3 391 mixtures were checked and 1 620 different companies were inspected in 29 countries.

No less than one third of the inspected mixtures were not labelled as they should be as the information about safe use for consumers was not sufficient.

As part of the enforcement project, the inspectors also checked the requirements for packaging and labelling liquid laundry detergent capsules. Tests showed that 22 % of the outer packaging did not work properly after repeatedly being opened and closed during the use of the product.

Companies need to classify mixtures so you can identify their hazards, for example, hazards for our health and the environment. 17 % of the inspected mixtures had an incorrect classification, which can result in an incorrect label warning you about the hazards of the product. The classification is especially important for certain substances that can have serious effects like causing cancer, reducing our ability to have children or damage to our DNA. For 9% of those substances checked in the project the required harmonised classification and labelling were not applied.    

Always check the labels and the hazard information on the products you buy. The EU is enforcing the obligations for companies to make sure that you can rely on the information and feel safe when using products with hazardous mixtures such as detergents.