Statistics in brief - Shares of dangerous products

The EU has a common system for classification of the danger of substances or chemical mixtures. They are grouped into danger classes. The classification is made by the company that places the product on the market.

Shares of the total and consumer-available numbers of chemical products that are hazardous to health

Graph. Shares of the total and consumer available number of chemical products that are dangerous to health.

Source: Products Register, Swedish Chemicals Agency. 

About 43 per cent, about 38,000, of all chemical products on the Swedish market are hazardous to health in some way. Out of the around 15,000 consumer-available chemical products, some 5,500 are hazardous to health.

The dangerous part of consumer-available products has decreased with 16 per cent since 1991. As the number of chemical products has increased during this period it means that almost the same number of chemical products are dangerous today but also that as a whole a larger number of products are not hazardous to health.

Shares of number of products in different danger classes

Graph. Shares of number of products in different danger classes.

Source: Products Register, Swedish Chemicals Agency.

The number of products that have been assigned the danger class Irritant has increased the last decade. This is partly due to re-classification of products that before entering the EU had the specific Swedish danger class Moderately Harmful.

The danger class Harmful has decreased. This might be an effect of substitution. Many products that previously contained hazardous solvents have now been substituted with water-based products that are not classified as hazardous to health at all. This holds for large product groups like paints and cleaning agents.

The Toxic danger class share of the number of chemical products is about three per cent. This corresponds to some 2,000 products. About 100 consumer-available chemical products are Toxic. Many of these are petrol products.

During 2010 a new classification system for chemicals was taken into use. About 3,000  chemicals were during 2011 reclassified  to the new danger classes which correspond to 4.6 per cent of the products, matched by decreases in the shares of Irritant and Harmful products. The reclassification is to be implemented until 2015 and it will be possible to follow the progress for the new and old danger classes in this chart.