CEN Guide 16 addresses chemicals in consumer-relevant product standards 

A new CEN Guide was published in July 2017 to help writers of standards who are addressing chemicals in product standards. From a broader perspective, the guide aims to support the EU objectives to minimize the health and environmental impact of chemicals and as such contribute to the implementation of the EU policy on chemicals and the development of a “Union strategy for a non-toxic environment” envisaged for 2018.

The new Guide 16 and the related background document are the result of many years of work of a project team composed of Austrian Standards (ASI), Danish Standards (DS), the Spanish Association for Standardization (UNE) and the European Environmental Citizens’ Organisation for Standardisation (ECOS). The project team worked in close collaboration with the relevant Technical Committees, several directorates of the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency. It was supported by a multi-stakeholder advisory panel of experts coming from different countries and organizations.

This Guide is intended to be used by anyone involved in drafting standards for consumer-relevant products (other than chemical mixtures) with the aim of minimizing exposure to chemicals which may constitute a risk for human health and the environment.
Guide 16 includes a framework & recommendations for normative provisions relating to chemicals which should be taken into consideration when developing standards for consumer-relevant articles. The separate background document provides information about regulatory provisions for chemical substances, and includes specific articles, related standards as well as internet links where most up-to-date information can be found.

Not all standards writers have expertise in chemistry and (eco) toxicology but, by using this Guide, they will be able to:

  • Understand basic principles that need to be considered when thinking about incorporate provisions on chemicals;
  • Understand the regulatory and political context;
  • Assess the relevance of existing information sources with respect to a particular group of articles;
  • Identify experienced chemistry and (eco) toxicology experts;
  • Include relevant provisions on chemicals in standards where appropriate.

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