Advice on chemical products


Chemical products with warning labels may pose a risk of severe injury if used incorrectly. Look for the warning label and read the instructions on the packaging so that you know how to handle the products safely.

Keep out of reach of children

  • All chemical products marked with hazard symbols.
  • Button cell batteries and things that contain button cell batteries, such as greeting cards with audio features, watches and thermometers. Batteries can cause severe chemical burns in children if swallowed.
  • Liquid-filled items with different coloured liquids, such as lava lamps and glowsticks.
  • Oil lamps.
  • Any other things that can lead to accidents with children and chemicals, such as medicines, e-cigarettes and tobacco.

Recommendations for the safe handling of hazardous chemical products

Make sure that children are not in the vicinity when using a hazardous chemical product. A good way to reduce the risk of accidents is to consider whether you really need a particular chemical product that you are considering buying.

Some chemical products, such as caustic drain cleaners, are so dangerous that it can be good not to have them at all if there are children in the home.

Only use chemical products as they were intended to be used. For example, do not use glue as an ingredient in homemade slime, as glue is not manufactured in a way that takes into account that children are particularly sensitive to chemical substances.

Do not pour hazardous chemical products into jugs, soda bottles or similar containers. This increases the risk of someone ingesting the product.

Read and follow the warning labels on the products

All hazardous chemical products must be labelled with hazard symbols that inform about the hazard of using the product. Look for the hazard label and read the instructions on the packaging before you buy the product from a store or online, so that you know how to handle the product safely when you get it home.

Do not rely on the so-called child-resistant closures. Children are still able to open these closures. It just takes longer. Remember to screw on the cap securely after use.

Products that are fitted with a skull-and-crossbones hazard label are so hazardous to health that they are usually not allowed to be purchased or used by private individuals. This can be especially good to remember when shopping for products online, where it may be easier to access such products.

Mosquito repellents, tick repellents and other insect repellents

If you would like to purchase mosquito repellent, insecticides and other pesticides on the internet, you need determine whether they are approved for use in Sweden.

Look for age restrictions when applying mosquito or tick repellent to young children. It can be good to apply repellents to children’s clothes instead of on the skin.

When disposing of and recycling chemical products

You are required to sort your waste according to the laws regarding waste disposal. Read the packaging on the chemical products to determine how to handle the products and their packaging once the products become waste. Return the products as hazardous waste to a recycling centre.

In the event of an accident

If an accident does occur with a chemical product, it is important to seek help quickly. Therefore, call 112 immediately and request Poisons Information (Giftinformation).

Read more on the Swedish Poisons Information Centre’s website External link.

Read more

Read about labelling and hazard symbols here

Read about certain products that have caused severe symptoms in children

The Swedish Poisons Information Centre External link.

Last published 9 December 2022