Consumer Products Safety Assessment

Consumer Products are regulated within Europe under the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD) (2001/95/EC). The GPSD aims to ensure a high level of product safety throughout the EU for consumer products not covered by specific sector legislation. The obligation is on the producer and distributor to place only safe products on the market, and inform consumers of any risks associated with the products they supply. They must take appropriate measures to prevent such risks and be able to trace dangerous products. Second-hand products are included. A safe product is defined as: “a product which, under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use including duration and, where applicable, putting into service, installation and maintenance requirements, does not present any risk or only the minimum risks compatible with the product’s use, considered to be acceptable and consistent with a high level of protection for the safety and health of persons.” In the UK, GPSD has been enacted as The General Products Safety Regulations 2005 (Statutory Instrument No. 1803).

The European Commission wants to improve consumer product safety and to strengthen market surveillance of products in the EU, by way of a new package of legislative and non-legislative measures. This package is being discussed currently in the European Parliament and the Council of the EU (COM(2013) 78 final. 2013/0049 (COD). PRODUCT SAFETY AND MARKET SURVEILLANCE PACKAGE. Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on consumer product safety and repealing Council Directive 87/357/EEC and Directive 2001/95/EC.

Our team of toxicologists have many years’ experience of providing hazard reviews on individual ingredients, or assessing the safety of multi-component formulations

Our team can provide assistance with any toxicological issues arising, from regulations controlling the marketing and use of consumer products. We employ a team of toxicologists who have wide experience in the evaluation of the toxicological risks posed by single ingredients or contaminants, as well as multi-component products. We also have hands-on experience of working within the sector using systems applications such as SAP (EHS data management) for Consumer Product solutions.


Examples of specific assessments
  • Investigation of consumer complaints – in response to consumer complaints of skin reactions from contact with specific furniture, we obtained (in confidence) the detailed composition of the furniture items and treatment, and carried out a desk-based evaluation of the toxicity of the materials. This allowed identification of the likely responsible component, and this was confirmed by patch-testing.
  • Health risk assessment of a novel filter – an innovative filter application with several technical advantages was subjected to extractables studies, and bibra carried out a health risk assessment, allowing the supplier to be reassured that chemicals would not leach in amounts that would pose significant health risks to consumers
  • Volatiles heath risk assessment – unusual odours had been noted emanating from a consumer goods item. Following analytical investigation, the responsible volatile was identified and quantified. Bibra then carried out a health risk assessment and advised the client on the findings.
  • Screening out undesirable chemicals pre-marketing – a supplier was considering importing textiles made in the Far East, and provided a list of dyes used on the garments. We were able to identify those with the most and least favorable toxicity profiles and to advise that some might not be toxicologically acceptable, allowing the client to screen out undesirable colours or to commission detailed risk assessments.


Recent work in this field

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