The sixth EU-wide Enforcement Forum project (REF-6) focused on the classification and labelling of mixtures and biocide obligations found that 44% of hazardous mixtures are non compliance in the classification and labelling of mixtures. The most common mixtures checked were washing and cleaning products; biocidal products; coatings, paints, thinners and paint removers; adhesives and sealants; room fragrances and air freshener products – these are known to commonly contain hazardous ingredients.
Altogether, inspectors in 29 countries checked 3 391 mixtures and inspected 1 620 companies (manufacturers, importers, downstream users and distributors).
The main findings of the project were:
Checked Mixtures (covered by REACH):
- 43 %of all reported companies were found to have at least one non-compliance and 44 % of reported mixtures were non-compliant in some way.
- 17 %of reported mixtures were using an incorrect classification, which may result in incorrect labelling on the mixtures, and thereby incorrect safe use advice.
- For certain substances that have hazards of highest concern (carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, reproductive toxicity and respiratory sensitisers), classification and labelling is harmonised throughout the EU to ensure adequate risk management. For 9 %of those substances checked in the project, the required harmonised classification and labelling were not applied.
- 33 %of reported mixtures had incorrect labelling.
- 33 %of the checked safety data sheets were non-compliant with the requirements checked in the project.
Checked Biocidal Products
- Around 7 %of them lacked either valid authorisation according to the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) or to national legislation during the transitional period.
- For 17 %of the biocides, labels were non-compliant.
ECHA recommend that manufacturers, importers and downstream users have to put more effort into deriving the right classification for mixtures and communicating it down the supply chain. This will prevent incorrect information being disseminated in safety data sheets and on labels. Industry should also work on improving the quality of safety data sheets which will in turn lead to improved information flowing through the supply chain.