This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

The active substances on the ‘notified’ list were however allowed to remain on the market while being reviewed – a detailed examination of data regarding the possible effects each substance could have on human health and the environment. The responsibility to compile and submit data on each active substance lies with the notifiers – usually the companies that make money from supplying them – who were asked to give details on the use, effectiveness, and possible effects of the active substances under review.

As the review has (slowly) progressed a number of substances have been removed from legal supply as biocides – for a number of reasons. Many were removed simply because the companies supporting them did not submit the required data, and others because of concerns regarding their safe use. An example is the chemical substance iodine, which was excluded from use as a PT2 biocide in 2008 and as a result cannot be supplied for use as a swimming pool disinfectant. Other biocidal methods which are relatively new to the market, such as chlorine generation, from ‘generic’ sodium chloride (for example using the salt in seawater) are also covered by the BPR and bound by the same constraints of use. The new Biocidal Products Regulation widens the scope of biocide law to include materials treated with biocides such as wood that has itself been preserved with a wood preservative. Another change will be that, as of September 2015, only suppliers of active substances who have been included in a list of companies contributing to the cost of data gathering and assessment will be allowed to sell them for biocidal use – it will be illegal for anyone else to sell such an active substance as a biocide.

Although EU legislation on biocides has existed for more than 15 years, the evaluation programme has only focussed on actives in PT2 products relatively recently, and so for some the impact on pool treatment chemicals may only be starting to become apparent. Manufacturers and users of biocidal products in the swimming pool sector should be aware of their obligations and those of their suppliers. That said, the laws governing supply and use of biocides are quite complicated

and challenging – but companies are not expected to wrestle with them alone! HSE are responsible for the operation of the biocides system in the UK, and anyone with questions or concerns regarding the use of biocides within their business should check the HSE biocides website ( biocides) where there are already answers to many general questions. If, having checked the website you need more help, you can contact the HSE via our helpdesk


Mike McGrath (MD of Necon Technologies)

My firm makes and sells copper silver ionisation systems. In 2012, Copper was removed from the list of existing biocides by an EU decision. As a result,

our product, for all intents and purposes, became overnight, illegal to sell. This came as a huge shock to me and most of the other firms involved in Cu/Ag ionisation. We, in the main part, had all assumed that as we operated within the drinking water standards that we were a safe and legal product. How wrong we were! Turnover fell to zero virtually within weeks and the industry was forced to act. Derogations, or exemptions, from the decision were sought in a number of EU countries and industry came together to form a Taskforce to deal with the required data submission.

In the UK the HSE quickly applied for derogation for Cu/Ag in the area of Legionella control and this has since been granted to the UK by the EU with a further derogation for swimming pool use due soon. This means that for Legionella control, it is now permitted to sell Cu/Ag systems in the UK, but conditions apply. Prime among these conditions is that industry must supply the required data to the Commission by December of this year. We are working on this and are confident that we can meet the deadline, but it has not been easy. The cost of this data, or ’Dossier’ submission is huge. We estimate that in the case of copper it will run to over €1.5 million and copper is considered to be one of the least

costly biocides to deal with. The strain was increased by the natural reaction of competitors who took every opportunity to point out the issue to our customers. We have worked through the issues, but with the coming impact of the new Biocidal Products Regulation just around the corner, we have more work to do. All manufacturers of biocides need to be aware of the law. We in Cu/Ag ionisation were lucky in a way, as we have had to educate ourselves in the legalities of biocides, but everyone involved in swimming pool disinfection needs to be aware of the issues. Failure to comply with the law will result in removal from the market; it will be just a matter of time. Many of my customers are becoming more and more aware of the legal requirements and this is a good thing. It ensures that only safe and regulated products are used and this protects the safety of the end users. Everybody should know about these legal requirements and the impact they may have on their business.

The hard part of this is that I also know suppliers who do not comply with the regulations. They may be small businesses and unaware of the legal issues and it is hard for smaller firms to keep up to date with all the regulations. For them, the time to take action and get ‘legal’ is now. Waiting will just make it worse and bear in mind that the competition will not be shy in pointing out that your product is not legal.

There is help available and, though the cost of compliance is high, it will ensure market stability and will gain you an advantage over those who sell illegally. It is also important for suppliers, who may not manufacture their own product, to be sure of the position of all the products they offer. The EU has compiled a list of biocides which can no longer be used, a list which runs to no less than 101 pages. Checking that your products comply, now and in the future is the only way to be sure that you can keep your customers supplied.

If there is one piece of advice I would give all manufacturers and suppliers it is to check with the HSE if in doubt. They are helpful and with their knowledge, if there turns out to be an issue with any product, they can help and advise on the proper course of action. SPN

HSE Biocides

EU Commission Biocides biocides/index_en.htm

ECHA EU Biocides biocidal-products-regulation

SPN August 2014 33


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92