Detergents are products containing soaps or other surfactants intended for washing and cleaning.
Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 on detergents ensures that only detergents with surfactants that are fully biodegradable may be placed on the market. In addition, detergent labels must contain ingredient and dosage information. This is to protect the health of consumers, especially against allergies, and to avoid the over-use of detergents.
In particular, this Regulation harmonises the following rules for placing detergents and surfactants for detergents, on the EU market:
- the biodegradability of surfactants in detergents
- restrictions or bans on surfactants on grounds of biodegradability
- the additional labelling of detergents, including fragrance allergens
- the information that manufacturers must hold at the disposal of national authorities and medical personnel
- limitations on the content of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in consumer laundry detergents and consumer automatic dishwasher detergents.