In October 2005, the EU Detergents Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 came into force in all EU countries. The changes introduced by the new regulation affected labelling and were intended to help consumers and users of detergent products make informed choices on selecting a product, using it safely and obtaining the best possible results.

Labels on detergent products include a list of ingredients – that has been a well-established practice for some time. However, under the Detergents Regulation the label must display greater detail on perfume ingredients. This is to ensure that people who suffer allergic reactions are properly informed when selecting a product. Any preservative ingredient added to the product will also be indicated on the label. Both are listed with their International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) name.

The following provisions on labelling shall apply to the packaging of detergents sold to the general public.
Weight percentage ranges:
— Less than 5%,
— 5% or over but less than 15%,
— 15% or over but less than 30%,
— 30% or more,
The following ingredients shall be listed on each product, when used in concentrations above 0.2% by weight:
— Phosphates,
— Phosphonates,
— Anionic surfactants,
— Cationic surfactants,
— Amphoteric surfactants,
— Non-ionic surfactants,
— Oxygen-based bleaching agents,
— Chlorine-based bleaching agents,
— EDTA and salts thereof,
— NTA (nitrilotriacetic acid) and salts thereof,
— Phenols and halogenated phenols,
— Paradichlorobenzene,
— Aromatic hydrocarbons,
— Aliphatic hydrocarbons,
— Halogenated hydrocarbons,
— Soap,
— Zeolites,
— Polycarboxylates.
The following classes of ingredient, if added, shall be listed irrespective of their concentration:
— Enzymes,
— Disinfectants,
— Optical brighteners,
— Perfumes.

Lastly, in case there is anything you want to know about the ingredients of a product, labels also give a website address where you can go for even more detailed information.

For further details on the EU Detergent Regulation and what it means for you, please download the  A.I.S.E. Detergents Regulation Leaflet

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