PRIO – A tool for Risk Reduction of Chemicals

Product types

Product type indicates the different types of chemical products a specific substance may be contained in and the function these products may have. It is thus seldom a description of the function of the substance in itself. This information is taken from the products register of the Swedish Chemicals Agency and is based on the product information supplied by the manufacturer or importer.

Accelerators
shortens the time it takes to vulcanise rubber

Activators
starts a reaction, e.g. polymerisation or vulcanisation, in which, unlike a catalyst, it is consumed

Anti-caking agents
Are added to a powder product to prevent it clumping together, for example when it becomes moist

Anti-static agents
prevent static charge from building up in a material

Finishing agents, dressing agents
affect the gloss or stiffness of the surface layer, for example in textiles and paper

Asphalt, bitumen, tar, etc.
semi-solid to solid materials of petroleum or coal origin that are used in construction, binders and filling.

De-icing agents
remove coating of ice by lowering the freezing point of water in a mixture with ice so far that the ice becomes sufficiently liquid to be removed.

Pesticides
are used to repel, weaken or kill animals, plants and microorganisms

Car-care products
collective name for preparations used for car care, e.g. car shampoo, car wax. Many products used for car care have functions of their own, however, such as degreasing agents and rust inhibitors.

Binders (for other products)
form the greater part of the solid film or structure aimed for in the use e.g. of flooring or road surfaces. Cement, fire-proof cement and concrete are included. This term is also used for ingredients that hold foods together by absorbing water.

Binders (for paints, adhesives, etc.)
form the greater part of the solid film or structure aimed for in the use of paints and adhesives.

Flame retardants
is added to flammable materials to delay the eruption of fire

Fuels, fuel oils
are anything that can burn and in that way can be utilised for heat and energy generation.

Fuel additives
are added to both automotive fuels and other fuels, to influence combustion properties or engine maintenance

Dental products
Preparations for dental care, principally those that are used in dental surgeries and by dental technicians, e.g. impression materials and fillings for teeth.

Dispersion agents
Surface-active substances, that helps to disperse, hold small particles of a non-water-soluble substance or material homogeneously finely divided in a liquid phase, usually water.

Propellants
Gases that are kept compressed, under pressure, to function on expansion to atmospheric pressure as a transport medium for liquid and solid substances and in so doing often form aerosols.

Explosives
substances and products that are used so that they can react violently but in a controlled manner

Fixing agents
Fixing agents may fulfil several different functions. 1. An agent that makes it easier for substances or particles to attach to a surface, e.g. etchant on a textile fibre. 2. Agent that slows down the evaporation of perfume. 3. Agent that makes a surface harder and more resistant e.g. in photographs and microscopic preparations.

Feedstuff/feedstuff additives
Substances and preparations that are used in feeds, including those nutrient substrates that are used for culturing microorganisms, e.g. in water-treatment plants.

Developers
Substance or product which, by reacting with substances already present, gives rise to a change in colour, e.g. in textile dyeing or photography.

Friction agents
increase friction

Fillers (plastics, paint etc.)
add volume and structure to a matrix and help keep other ingredients in a homogeneous mixture. Are generally inorganic.

Precipitants
Used to separate substances or particles from solutions or suspensions by causing them to join together and become larger and heavier. Polyelectrolytes are one such type of agent, used as a flocculating agent for water purification.

Paint and varnish removers, strippers
Removes coats of paint. Graffiti remover is also a paint remover.

Paints, varnishes
Preparations intended to form coloured surface coatings.

Dyestuffs, pigments
Substances or products that are used to give colour/tint. Pigments in themselves do not need to have the desired tint but are coated with the dye and contribute with their own colour (generally white) to provide the desired brightness. Substances that do not affect the tint are not pigments but fillers/extenders. Toners are included in the Universal code.

Thickeners
Used to increase viscosity, e.g. by forming a gel or making the liquid thixotropic.

Tanning agents
Product for treating hides for leather

Floor-covering materials
Products used to provide floor surfaces. Ready-made carpets are articles that are not notifiable, so these materials are poured or applied in liquid form to then solidify. An example is epoxy flooring which hardens in situ.

Skin-cleaning agents (soap)
Agent based on surfactants with which to make the skin clean, generally intended to be used together with water

Hardeners
Substance or preparation that, through catalysis or by offering monomers, brings about a reaction on mixing with other substances. Often part of a multi-component system where the other part is called the base.

Impregnating agents
Products that, by covering surfaces with a repellent coat, protect underlying materials against water or grease.

Inhibitors
prevent or slow down the course of reactions

Insulating materials, electricity
materials that do not conduct electric current

Insulating materials, heat-cold
prevent thermal conduction

Catalysts
substances that speed up or slow down a chemical reaction without themselves being consumed

Paper manufacture chemicals
collective function for products used in paper manufacturing, e.g. wet strength agent, retaining agents, optical brighteners and bleaches.

Preservatives
prevent and slow down the biodegradation of organic matter in chemical products, foods and articles

Contact agents
used to improve conductivity

Cutting fluids
preparations used to reduce friction and heat in order to prevent deformation of metal workpieces. In recirculating systems, the agent often functions as a remover of breakdown products and metal chips.

Refrigerants, cooling agents
substance or preparation that transfers cold in a closed system

Laboratory chemicals
used in laboratories

Alloy metals
metals mixed in other metals to alter the properties of the metallic material in a desired manner

Adhesives, glues
Products used to join pieces of material.

Food additives
Substances and products used in foods, e.g. vitamins, antioxidants, thickening agents. All substances in food additives must be on the positive list of the National Food Administration to be allowed to be used in foods in Sweden.

Soldering products
Products used in soldering to clean the metal surface or join the metal pieces.

Solvents (liquid)                                                                                           most often organic substances or products that dissolve solid substances. See also diluting agents used for dissolving liquid. Generally synonymous terms.

Metal surface treatment agents
Preparations used to treat metal surfaces without remaining on these after treatment, e.g. etchants, phosphating chemicals, primers and cleaning agents.

Softeners
agents used to make materials soft, e.g. textile, rubber, leather. Often merged with the function Plasticisers

Plasticisers
substances added to materials to make them softer.

Odour
raw material for industry or agent that masks foul odour by providing a more pleasant one.

pH-regulating agents
acids or bases where these are used to change pH

Polishing agents
used to boost the gloss and hardness of a surface. May be a preparation for surface treatment of wood and shoes but often also designates a car-care product.

Process regulators
used for process-influencing factors other than initiation (activator) and speeding-up of rate of reaction (catalyst), such as causing precipitation to take place to finer powder or bringing down the melting point of metals.

Reducing-oxidising agents
Substances and preparations that alter the charge of other chemical substances.

Cleaning agents
All types of cleaning agents. Contact-lens fluid is a (disinfecting) cleaning agent.

Rust-removing agents
used to remove rust and other corrosion products.

Rust preventives
applied to surfaces of ferrous materials so that they will not rust

Foaming agents (for liquids)
used to form bubbles, particularly in concrete

Anti-foaming agents
surface-active preparations that reduce the ability of liquids to form stable foams, often silicone-based

Slip agents
applied to the surface of moulds for concrete, plastic etc. so that the casted material can be separated from the mould, e.g. mould oil, casting slip. Also includes ski wax. Lubricants reduce the friction between two surfaces in contact.

Diluents (for paints etc.)
liquids used for diluting. A synonym is thinners.

Stabilisers
substances or products added to other products to preserve them against physical effect, e.g. disintegration due to UV light or oxygen.

Welding products
Products used in welding, welding gases, protective layers and flux agents for welding. Swelling agents substance or chemical agent that can be caused to generate gas in a polymer or plastic matrix and in that way forms bubbles, foamed plastic.

Intermediates, raw material
substances or products converted to new substances. Remember that not only the substances that are converted are contained in such a product, it can contain solvents and other auxiliary substances.

Surfactants
surface-active substances, influence surface tension in the contact between water and other substances, e.g. emulgators.

Textile-colouring agents
used to colour textiles

Desiccators, drying agents
substance or product that speeds up drying and hardening. May be a raw material for paint manufacturing and is then often known as a siccative.

Transmission media
Liquids that are used in closed systems to transmit power, e.g. hydraulic fluids and brake fluids

Wood-preservative coatings
Paint products applied to wood to protect it against microbial attack. See also impregnating agents.

Jointing materials
collective term for products used to fill in cavities and reshape surfaces

Water-repelling agents
applied to a surface to make it moisture-repellent

Veterinary medicines
agents for external use on domestic animals, e.g. hoof ointment and liniment.

Vulcanising agents
generally sulphur-containing preparations used to cross-link rubber polymers so that the rubber material becomes harder and more stable.

Heat-transferring agents
used to transfer heat in closed systems

Wetting agents
surface-active substances and preparations used to reduce the surface tension of a surface so that it becomes less repellent to water, is wetted more readily. Used principally in the textile industry but may sometimes be used as a term synonymously with surface-active agent.