New rules on biocides enter into force. They will bring a significant boost to the protection of human health and the environment. Biocidal products are necessary for the control of organisms that are harmful to human or animal health or that cause damage to materials. But as their properties can also pose risks to humans, animals and the environment, they need careful regulation. The new regulation on biocidal products will increase the safety of these chemical products and simplify their authorisation on the EU market, improving their free movement on the internal market.
Biocidal products are part of everyday life. They include disinfectants used at home or in hospitals, rat poison, insect repellents, anti-mould sprays and paints, water purification tablets and many other products. These products have been subject to EU law since 1998, and since that time almost one thousand products have been authorised under the biocidal products directive.
The European Commission has reviewed the Biocides directive and concluded that the authorisation processes for active substances and products could be simplified and streamlined. The new regulation offers more efficient provisions for the authorisation of products, the requirements and sharing of product-related data. It will save industry an estimated 2.7 billion euros over a period of 10 years.
The new provisions also reduce animal testing by making data sharing compulsory and encouraging a more flexible and integrated approach to testing. A dedicated IT platform (the Register for Biocidal Products) will be used for submitting applications as well as recording decisions and disseminating information to the public.
Protection will also be extended as the new legislation will now include goods and materials which are treated with biocidal products, such as furniture and food packaging.
Tuesday July 17, 2012/ European Commission/ European Union.