Toys, clothing, bedding, jewellery, false eyelashes, mouthpieces of musical instruments, domestic cleaning and maintenance products – in our daily lives, we come into contact with a wide range of different products that are collectively referred to as “consumer goods” in the German Food and Feed Code (LFGB). Consumer goods have received media coverage in relation to issues such as azo dyes in clothing, chrome VI in children’s shoes or nickel in jewellery.
Unlike materials and articles that come into contact with food (known as food contact materials), these consumer goods are often initially subject to the general requirements of product safety law. For many of these products, there are specific additional legal regulations. As a rule, consumer goods must be designed in such a way that their material composition is not harmful to health when used as intended.
For example, this applies to toys. Since small children are known to use toys intensively, putting them in their mouths and pulling and tugging on them, the Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC provides comprehensive guidelines to protect children from safety and health hazards caused by unsafe toys. Manufacturers are not only required to meet specific mechanical and, if applicable, electrical requirements, but above all must also observe restrictions in using certain substances. In addition, warnings are required for several toy categories that must be preceded by the word “Warning”, be written in German and be easily legible.
However, the legal framework for the respective consumer goods is not always easy to comprehend at a glance for manufacturers.
For example, the German Detergents and Cleaning Products Act stipulates the material composition for domestic cleaning and maintenance products. But the labelling of these products is governed by the European Detergents Regulation. In addition, chemical law (REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, among others) in conjunction with the CLP Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures can play an essential role for many products. For example, the use of certain ingredients in interior fragrances or impregnating products requires the manufacturer to label such products with additional information, such as precautionary statements. The same applies to individual fragrances that have sensitising properties beyond a certain concentration level.
All of this goes to show that the regulatory framework in relation to consumer goods is often extremely complex.
You are not sure what regulations apply to your product? You need support in developing and marketing products? You would like to test the migration of certain substances in advance as part of your quality assurance? You have received a complaint about sensory deviations or perhaps even a complaint from an authority?
Backed by the scientific expertise of our collaboration partner meyer.science GmbH, we assist you in all matters relating to your products. Get in touch with us!