Hospital and laboratory disinfectants given EU reprieve.
HOSPITAL and laboratory disinfectants that could have been banned
within the European Union (EU) from May 15, 2010, are now likely to have
a stay of execution of another four years. An agreement between the
European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers will allow until May
2014 for the active substances in biocidal products to be assessed for
safety. Under the 1998 biocides directive, member states had until May
2010 to check whether these products, including cleaning products and
disinfectants, were safe ahead of the European Commission authorising an
approved list. But, said a parliamentary communique, "it now
appears that [this time] will not be enough" to make these
assessments. Without their conclusions, the Commission would have to ban
many disinfectants under the existing legislation, but MEPs and
ministers have now agreed that national laws--which permit their
use--can continue in force until May 2014, with a possible additional
two year extension if necessary.