Why be concerned?

Supplier progress

Potential impacts

Functional groups

Substance list

Legislation / REACH


Related Links

Wash with care

Environmental assessment of laundry detergents

Several pieces of EU legislation are relevant to detergents and other chemicals used for industrial laundering:


· The legislation regarding Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Dangerous Preparations

· The legislation regarding Safety Data Sheets

· The specific Regulation regarding Detergents

· The legislation regarding Eco-labelling of Laundry Detergents—in principle only applicable to household detergents, but nevertheless a relevant indicator of the trends in society.

These legislation packages are briefly described in each section, with links to more detailed descriptions on the relevant EU websites. Over the coming years, this legislation will gradually be replaced by the REACH Regulation.



The new EU Regulation about the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) will have consequences for textile services as well.

In REACH terminology, industrial laundries are mainly ‘downstream users’ with regard to the use of detergents. Thus they are obliged to apply measures to control risk adequately as identified in Safety Data Sheets and in accordance with the risk management measures recommended by the supplier. Find more about this responsibility here.

Textile service companies supplying chemicals to their customers or importing chemicals from outside the EU will have further responsibilities. Find further information from the links below:

· Do you fall under REACH?

· Activities of enterprises

· Roles of authorities

· Important deadlines

· REACH definitions

A link to the official EU Environment REACH website can be found here.

Legislation relevant to industrial laundry detergents

EU REACH Regulation

Over the next few years, the REACH system will replace existing Regulations.

More than 40 pieces of EU legislation have been integrated into the new Regulation.

E.T.S.A. monitors these changes on an ongoing basis...

Additional reading:

Find more about the aims and intentions of REACH on the official ECHA website here.


For an in-depth description, you can also buy the informative CD-Rom and find our about the consultancy service that B-Land Consulting offers at

REACH in brief:

Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals.
On 29 October 2003, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new EU regulatory framework for chemicals, COM (2003) 644. Under the new system called REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals), enterprises that manufacture or import more than one tonne of a chemical substance per year will be required to register it in a central database.

The aims of the new Regulation are to improve the protection of human health and the environment while maintaining the competitiveness and enhancing the innovative capability of the EU chemicals industry.


REACH will furthermore give industry greater responsibility to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information about the substances. This information will be passed down the production chain.