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Calls For Improved Information on Chemical Product Labels

Labels Are Too Tricky For Consumers, Say EU Bosses

Various nations say that product labels are falling short when it comes to helping people identify potentially dangerous chemicals.

Product labels are there for many reasons, the most important of which is to detail what the product actually contains. Legislation means that companies need to be as informative as possible on their labels, so that customers can identify any potentially dangerous chemicals before they use a product. According to some EU member states though, there’s still not enough information on chemical product labels – and what information there is just isn’t clear enough. So, could changes be implemented, and where do companies go from here?

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Clear as mud?

It’s vital that consumers know what chemicals are present in what they’re buying – and various EU organisations believe that companies simply aren’t doing enough to give their customers the knowledge about what chemicals are present in a product. Therefore, they may not be effectively equipped to make an informed decision. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said that most people do not have the knowledge to ‘discriminate effectively’ between the different categories of chemical warnings that are on labels. The result? People could be putting themselves at risk.

Confusion for consumers

Chemicals are present in almost everything we buy, there’s no getting away from that. Cosmetics, paints, detergents, you name it. Chemicals are present in these to make the products more effective. While consumers are aware that there are chemicals present in what they’re buying, it’s the nature of them that is unclear. In detergents, for example, there is simply a ‘corrosive’ warning – with no indication if the agent is strong or slightly corrosive. On cosmetics labels, all ingredients are listed, but ones that are potentially harmful are not highlighted. Unless you have an in-depth knowledge of chemistry, chances are you won’t be able to single them out.

Advice for manufacturers

There’s every possibility that new laws could be introduced in order to make labels easier to decipher. In the meantime, businesses should always have their labels produced by a trusted manufacturer. An experienced label printing company will be in the know when it comes to current and future developments in rules and regulations, and will be able to advise you accordingly.

Chemical labels are subject to some of the most stringent criteria, so it’s vital that you don’t cut corners when you’re labelling your products. Labels used on chemical products can also become damaged over time, thanks to frequent contact with materials that react adversely to the paper that they’re printed on. To avoid this, your manufacturer will print your labels on suitably resilient paper. So anyone using your products will be able to see what is in them, even after lots of everyday wear and tear. As a result, they’ll be able to take appropriate precautions, preventing any accidents.

Be ready for any changes

Chemical labels do a great job at keeping people safe, but as you can see, some people think that there’s still a way to go before they’re totally effective. Making them easier to understand is the clear way to go, and it’s easy to see legislation being introduced that makes companies do exactly that. So always keep on top of any new rules and regulations, and always leave your label printing to the professionals. That way, both you and your customers will be in safe hands.

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