Understand the Label
The communication of safety information is a key responsibility for producers. Like for all end-users served by the soaps, detergents and maintenance products industry, I&I customers and operators are entitled to accurate, up-to-date, safe information in order to allow them understand the precautions required in using, handling and storing products.
The product label contains basic information on how the product should be safely handled, used and disposed of. Safety information on labelling is now regulated across Europe, but the market preference for concentrated products has had a dual effect. It reduces the size of the available label space and sometimes gives rise to a higher safety classification requiring more detailed hazard information. Information on the Regulations can be found on the website for the European Chemical Agency – http://echa.europa.eu/regulations
i) CLP Hazard Pictograms
From June 2015 cleaning products are being regulated under the new Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulations and there new Hazard pictograms introduced to replace the traditional black and orange symbols. The new pictograms are a white diamond with a red border and will also need to carry ‘signal words’ such as irritant/harmful. The information required must be in the language of the country the product is sold in.
- HIGHLY/EXTREMELY FLAMMABLE
- HAZARDOUS TO THE ENVIRONMENT
ii) Directions for use
The manufacturers must also provide sufficient information on how to use the product to ensure the product performs properly.
iii) Use Pictograms
Voluntary use pictograms have significantly helped to overcome the multilingual communication diversities across Europe and also reduced the training time needed to use a product. In particular, the European Cleaning Products Industry (AISE – www.aise.eu) has developed two sets of pictograms for use on product labelling and in training/information documents and some examples are shown below. Companies are free to develop their own icons for their products.
The first AISE set of PICTOGRAMS promotes the correct and best use of products, indicating the actual application area and the application process.
The second set indicates the application area for products used in restaurants and catering. They specifically aim at facilitating the proper identification of many products.
For detergents intended to be used in the industrial sector, and not made available to members of the general public, the ingredients do not have to be listed if the equivalent information is provided by means of technical data sheets, safety data sheets, or in a similar appropriate manner. Certain products also require the statement “Safety data sheet available for professional user on request.”.
A barcode is normally included in the label.
vi) Helpline and manufacturers details
The manufacturer’s name, address and telephone number must be included on the label.
vii) Inner container/pack / outer pack label requirements
The information required by the CHIP or CLP Regulations should be shown on each layer of packaging unless it is exempted by using any of the International Transport Regulations.
viii) Products Used with Medicinal Devices (CE Marked)
When cleaning a medical device only an approved product should be used. This will carry the European CE mark which is seen as a declaration by the manufacturer that the product meets all the appropriate provisions of the relevant legislation including those relating to safety and where required has been assessed in accordance with these. The CE mark also means that the product can be freely marketed anywhere in the EU without further control. Further information can be found at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency website (www.mhra.gov.uk)
ix) Defra Approved Disinfectants
Defra has in place a statutory mechanism under The Diseases of Animals (Approved Disinfectants) (England) Order 2007. This allows veterinary disinfectants to be placed on an approved list for the control of different diseases if they demonstrate efficacy in defined laboratory testing. The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) delivers the scheme on behalf of Defra.
Veterinary disinfectants are a vital component of animal disease control strategies, both in the everyday prevention of disease and in controlling disease spread during epidemic outbreaks. Only approved disinfectants may be used during epidemic outbreaks. The label for approved products will give the specific dosage/dilution instructions and these should be followed to ensure effective treatment. See the Defra website (http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla-en/tests-and-services/disinfectant-approvals/ ) for more details.
Further Guidance and Examples
Click here for a detailed guide explaining everything you’re likely to find on the pack. There are three detailed examples for a machine dishwashing detergent, a laundry detergent refill pack and an all-purpose cleaner. Running your cursor over the packs will show you what each bit of information is about.
Click here to download the A.I.S.E. Read the Label leaflet with information for industrial and institutional users of detergents and cleaning products.