Chemical products are part of our daily life. We regularly use cleaning products, washing products, domestic bleach, anti-calcification sprays, drain cleaners, paints,... But their use does not come without risk: numerous environment and public health problems can be attributed to the increase of chemicals in our environment.

How to protect yourself and your family?
The website lireavantutilisation.be (only in French & Dutch) tells you all about the safety measures to avoid accidents, the hazard symbols mentioned on the labels of chemicals and their meaning. It also features a series of videos illustrating typical hazardous situations at home. The brochure, too, provides you with plenty of information on the most common accidents and the way to easily avoid them.

Under the section “classification and labelling”you will also find information on alternatives to chemicals for your home or your garden.

Strict standards
Chemicals are subject to strict standards in order to protect the user.

The Federal Environmental Inspection controls the placing on the market of chemical substances.

Europe published the Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) to reduce the risks of the production and the use of chemicals for health and the environment.

Pesticides or crop protection agents are chemical products that are used in agriculture and the garden to fight plant diseases and infestations. Specific legal rules have been developed to ensure the safe use of pesticides. The section “pesticides” and the website www.fytoweb.be contain information for companies about the conditions that the crop protection products have to comply with.

Biocidal products are pesticides that help you deter, render harmless or destroy unwanted or harmful organisms. Specific legislation applies to biocidal products. The "Biocidal products" section provides general information on these products, such as an explanation of the label and tips on how to avoid accidents. Are you a professional user or seller of biocidal products? Browse to www.biocide.be for information tailored to your needs.

 

Fertilizers are chemicals added to plants to help them grow or yield more. When used improperly, fertilizers can also be dangerous and cause damage to the environment. General information and the relevant legislation are available in the section “fertilisers”.
There is also a separate procedure for exchanging information on toxic chemicals import and export. You will find more about this in the section “Import and export (PIC)”.

You can find informations about ozone-destroying gases und fluorated gases contributing to the greenhouse-effect on the website www.klimaat.be / www.climate.be (NL and FR only).

Examples of hazardous substances
 

Asbestos, mercury, some phthalates (plasticizers that are used in many plastic products), brominated flame retardants and bisphenol A (a chemical component used in the production of certain types of plastic) are examples of harmful substances.

Endocrine disruptors are also dangerous substances that disrupt the hormone system, with adverse effects on health and the environment.


Are nanomaterials (extremely small materials) harmful for humans and the environment? You will find more explanations about nanomaterials, their applications, the risks and the role of the government in the section “nanomaterials”.

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that are difficult to break down and are extremely hazardous to the public health and the environment. Examples and relevant legislation are available in the section “Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)”.