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Revised rules on the safety of Biocidal products came into force across Europe today (1st September 2013).The rules are an improvement on previous regulations but, sadly, still require animal tests for new products.
Biocides are substances that can destroy or control harmful organisms such as bacteria and are widely used in medicine, agriculture and industry. Examples of commonly used biocides include disinfectants, preservatives and insecticides. Because biocides are intended to kill living organisms, they may pose risks to human health. Unfortunately, animal tests are often used to assess these risks and to establish the safety of biocidal products for human users.
The European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), for which the BUAV is Secretariat and the UK member group, has been granted a stakeholder seat at the Biocides Products Committee (BPC). The BPC is based at the European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) and will have an important role in the approval of biocidal products. We will attend BPC meetings to check that animal tests are used only as a last resort and that existing data (where products have already been tested) is shared in order to avoid new animal tests. Both of these provisions are set out in the new Biocidal Products Regulation and our aim is to ensure that they are at least enforced.