ERJ staff report (DS)
Helsinki, Finland - Eurobarometer findings show that most people in the EU are unable to identify everyday household chemicals as potentially hazardous and rarely follow safety instructions. The understanding of chemical products and public awareness of how to use these safely varies considerably from one country to another.
These findings were published today in a 'Special Eurobarometer' survey report which has assessed consumers' perception of chemical products, and judged how those perceptions differ when people are in regular contact with them. The survey also looked at people's attitudes in dealing with safety instructions and illustrated their understanding of the hazard symbols and safety language (as provided by the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP Regulation) which entered into force on 20 January 2009).
EU citizens are generally more inclined to characterise chemical products as 'dangerous' or 'harmful to the environment' rather than 'useful' or 'innovative'. While the majority say that they have used chemical products at work, a large number of people are unable to identify everyday household chemicals as "chemical products". Many read safety instructions before using household chemicals but the attention paid to such instructions is higher only for certain types of products like pesticides and detergents. The level of understanding about chemical products differs considerably from country to country.
This is an external link and should open in a new window. If the window does not appear, please check your pop-up blocking software. ERJ is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Press release from EChA, the European Chemicals Agency charged with implementing REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals) legislation