June the 1st marked the end of the transitional period for mixtures. Only hazardous chemicals carrying labels with the CLP pictograms can now be supplied.

Suppliers must classify, label and package their hazardous chemicals appropriately before placing them on the market. If companies still have chemical products on their shelves with old labels, with orange square symbols, they must now make sure that the products are either no longer placed on the market or re-classified and re-labelled in accordance with CLP.

What does this mean for distributors, retailers or downstream users?

Since June the 1st 2017, a distributor is not allowed to sell any product with the old classification and labelling. For a retailer, this means that they can only have products with the CLP labels on their shelves. Even if they have products with old labels in stock, after the June the 1st, they can no longer sell them. They need to remove them from the shelves unless they have agreed with their supplier that they can provide them with new labels and that their packaging complies with the CLP requirements. If they print their own labels, they must make sure that the classification and labelling is correct. Their supplier may be able to help them with this.

If a company is using chemicals with old labels in the course of their professional or industrial activity and are not placing them on the market, e.g. they are being used for quality control in a laboratory or in production, then there is no requirement to re-classify or re-label unless a workplace risk assessment identifies hazards under CLP not identified in the previous legislation, in which case the workplace signs regulations may be applied to communicate those hazards.

What does this mean for consumers?

Chemicals are used at home every day for cleaning, gardening and household maintenance. Most of these products are not hazardous when used properly, but care always needs to be taken and everyone needs to know how to use them. The information on the product label is there to help consumers identify the hazards and to provide advice on how to use them safely. Therefore, it is important that consumers always read the label of a chemical product before they use it. The Health and Safety Authority has developed a new gallery to help consumers understand what the label means and the importance of reading the label before any chemical is used in the home. http://clpireland.ie/

The chemicals helpdesk team is here to help

If anyone has any questions relating to roles and obligations under CLP, they should  to contact our chemicals helpdesk at chemicals@hsa.ie. Further information is available on our website www.hsa.ie/chemicals.

Source: HSA Newsletter