What is a Biocidal Product?
Biocides are chemicals used to control organisms such as viruses, bacteria & fungi.
What is GB BPR?
Silver stabilised hydrogen peroxide biocidal products such as Geosil 50 are controlled under the GB Biocidal Products Regulation (GB BPR) in Great Britain to make sure that when they are used properly, they do not harm people, pets or the wider environment.
What is a GB BPR Group?
GB BPR separates biocidal products into 4 main groups. These are Disinfectants, Preservatives, Pest Control and Other Biocidal Products.
What is a GB BPR Product Type?
The four Main Groups are further subdivided into a total of 22 Product Types which detail the application areas of a biocide within a particular GB BPR Group(s).
The Product Types and number are often given as abbreviations in documents, so ‘PT4 is “Food and Feed Area – Disinfectants”.
More information on how the HSE defines and categorises Biocides is available from the HSE website here Biocides: The basics.
Which Biocidal Products should you use?
HSE cannot recommend any specific products, but it is important to make sure that you are using a biocidal product that is suitable for what your application.
An obvious way to do this is to check if the biocide you are considering using is listed on the GB List of Authorised Biocidal Products. The UK list of Authorised Biocidal Products can be downloaded from the HSE website here:
Biocidal Product Authorisation – Placing a Biocide on the UK Market
Before a biocidal product can be placed on the market in the UK, it must be Authorised under the GB Biocidal Products Regulation (GB BPR).
The active substance(s) in the product need to be approved for the relevant Product Types(s) and included on the GB List of Active Substances or the GB Simplified Active Substances List.
When a biocidal product contains more than one active substance, that product cannot be authorised until all the active substances in it are approved under GB BPR for the relevant Product Type. More information on Product Authorisation can be found on the HSE website here: Check active substance – Biocides.
The active substances must be assessed for their potential risks to people and the environment. If that risk assessment shows the active can meet the EU standards, then the active substance is ‘Approved’ for use in biocidal products.
If the risks identified are not acceptable, the substance is ‘Not Approved’ and any products containing it have to be removed from the market.
As an example, consider Hydrogen Peroxide (CAS 7711-84-1) which is supported in PTs 1-2-3-4-5-6 where the assessments have been completed and which has the approval / assessment status “Approved” with the approval start date of 1/2/2017.
Where a substance is ‘Approved’, the next stage is the assessment of each individual product formulation containing that active substance, which considers the risks to people and the environment from that formulation and the efficacy of the product.
Only products that meet the standards for risk assessments and effectiveness can be Authorised under the BPR. Any other products must be removed from the market. Product authorisation can include conditions to mitigate any risks, as necessary.
Whilst an active substance is still being assessed, products may continue to be made available and used, subject to any relevant national legislation.
Following the assessment of the product authorisation application, if a decision is made to ‘authorise’ the biocidal product, then the product will be listed on the UK list of authorised biocides products on the HSE website.
It is important to note that there are certain national schemes which may apply for certain disinfectant product types which are regulated by other government departments such as the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) for PT 5 drinking water disinfectants. Full information on the use of Drinking Water Products under Regulation 31 of The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 can be found on the Drinking Water Inspectorate website here.
Importing Biocidal Products into the UK
Now that the Transition Period has ended, the UK is no longer part of the EU scheme for regulating biocides. The UK will now take all its own decisions and will no longer participate in EU decision making or work sharing between EU member states, the EEA or Switzerland. The UK will no longer have access to information previously submitted under those systems or share information in that way with EU members states, the EEA or Switzerland.
For Product Authorisation an EU, EEA or Swiss biocide manufacturer will need to submit a standalone GB application for a GB National Authorisation.