Detergents are products containing soaps or other surfactants intended for washing and cleaning.
The Detergents Regulation ensures that only detergents with surfactants that are fully biodegradable may be placed on the market. In addition, laundry detergents must also be labelled with ingredient and dosage information to protect the health of consumers, especially against allergies, and to avoid over-use of laundry detergents.
For this purpose, Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 on detergents harmonises the following rules for the placing on the market of detergents and of surfactants for detergents:
- the biodegradability of surfactants in detergents;
- restrictions or bans on surfactants on grounds of biodegradability;
- the additional labelling of detergents, including fragrance allergens; and
- the information that manufacturers must hold at the disposal of the Member States competent authorities and medical personnel.