According to the Biocides Directive (98/8/EC), biocidal products are those
that are intended to destroy, render harmless, prevent the action of, or
otherwise exert a controlling effect on any harmful organism by chemical or
biological means. Examples include disinfectants, preservatives, antiseptics,
pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and insecticides.
Biocidal products mentioned in the Biocides Directive are listed in the
Disinfectants used on inanimate objects or intact
skin to reduce the number of micro-organisms. Disinfectants are classified
as low, medium or high-level disinfectants, depending on how many types of
micro-organisms they kill. High-level disinfectants are called chemical
Antiseptics used to treat infections in surface
wounds. They are distinguished from antibiotics which can destroy bacteria
within the body.
Preservatives added to products, such as cosmetics,
food, animal feeds or household products, for the primary purpose of
inhibiting the growth of micro-organisms.