• February 2, 2019
  • KEMI

Sweden | Municipalities must check dangerous chemicals in goods



Consumers have the right to know if there are certain hazardous chemicals in goods sold in the trade. During the year, inspectors from over 60 municipalities will work together with the Swedish Chemicals Agency to check how the companies comply with the rules.

Having control of the chemicals is crucial for a sustainable society. Everyone who sells goods should be able to provide information to their customers if the goods contain particularly dangerous substances, says Frida Ramström, Inspector at the Swedish Chemicals Agency. 

The chemicals that suppliers are required to inform about are on the EU's list of candidates, a list of nearly 200 particularly dangerous substances. On the list are substances that, for example, are carcinogenic, can damage the genetic material or affect the ability to have children. Anyone who delivers a product with such a listed subject should provide information on the subject to professional recipients. Private consumers have the right to receive the same information on request.Information requirements for particularly hazardous substances in goods are part of the EU chemicals legislation REACH. 

Some goods in the trade may also be treated with substances called biocides. This may, for example, apply to sports clothing with substances added to counteract bad odor or refrigerator with antibacterial coating. This is called biocide-treated goods for which there are specific EU rules. This type of goods may contain only certain substances and may need to be labeled in a particular way. Companies that sell biocidal products must check that the label is correct and that the added substance is allowed. 

- In order to protect health and the environment, it is important that companies know and follow the requirements for information on hazardous substances and labeling of treated goods. Through our cooperation project with the municipalities, we want to increase the awareness of the companies and investigate how the legislation is complied with, says Frida Ramström. 

In 2019, inspectors from more than 60 municipalities and from the Swedish Chemicals Agency will, among other things, have carried out analyzes of the chemical content of goods and control labels. The municipalities will make controls in their local stores while the Swedish Chemicals Agency focuses on manufacturers, importers and retail chains. The inspections in which biocidal products are controlled are part of an EU project where authorities throughout Europe will conduct similar inspections during the year. 

The Swedish Chemicals Agency emphasizes that consumers do not have to worry about dangerous substances in goods, since in most cases there are no acute risks of using individual goods. 

- For the most part, there is no great risk for consumers to use goods containing dangerous substances. But the total amount of hazardous substances from many different sources can in the long term cause health and environmental problems, says Frida Ramström.

CONTINUE READING ON KEMI (Automatically translated from Swedish)
                   

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