Biocides are chemicals used to suppress organisms that are harmful to human or animal health, or that cause damage to natural or manufactured materials. These harmful organisms include pests and germs (i.e. moulds and bacteria). Examples of biocidal products are insect repellents, disinfectants and industrial chemicals like anti-fouling paints for ships and material preservatives. However, because of their intrinsic properties biocides can pose risks to humans, animals and the environment.
The new Regulation entered into force on 1 September 2013. It repeals Directive 98/8/EC and aims to provide a high level of protection for humans, animals and the environment.