Safe Use Information for end-users

A.I.S.E. and its Dutch National Association, NVZ, have developed a tool to enhance the communication of safe use information in order to address Downstream Users’ (DU) duties and as per REACH article 31.7:

"Any DU shall include relevant exposure scenarios, and use other relevant information, from the safety data sheet supplied to him when compiling his own safety data sheet for identified uses.”

Formulators, as A.I.S.E. members companies, are required to take into account safe use information received from their suppliers and to pass relevant information down the supply chain to customers via their product Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

The "Generic Exposure Information from Substances – GEIS”, now called "Safe Use of Mixtures Information- SUMI", is a tool which offers companies supplying to the industrial and professional cleaning industry a standardized way to communicate Operational Conditions and Risk Management Measures (OC/RMM). These conditions in the SUMI refer to a typical use of the product and they depend on the application rather than on its chemical composition. The format and the language of the SUMI are intentionally simple and clear and target directly people using these products, who might not have deep chemical knowledge and are not familiar with the REACH jargon used in ESs. 
As an example, cleaners who work with products on a daily basis should be able to easiyly and intuitively determine whether wearing gloves is necessary or how long they can be exposed to a cleaning agent to ensure safe use of the product. The information that a cleaning company needs is provided in the SUMI which will be provided by the manufacturer of the cleaning products for the ultimate benefit of the end-user.

This approach initially developed at association level, has been presented to representatives from ECHA, other industry groups and Member State representatives via the European Network on Exposure Scenarios (ENES5). The approach is also welcomed by Dutch inspectorates and accepted as a methodology to meet the requirements of REACH and Occupational Health legislation for cleaning companies.

This approach has been eventually taken up more broadly by other sectors and at DUCC level. A DUCC working group has finalized the new SUMI terminology and guidance, which were published in December 2015. 
While these developments will have only minor influence on the content of the currently published GEIS, many updates in the context of the use description (see related section) have been published. Work is on-going to understand its impact on the material currently available. 

To avoid publishing multiple changes within a short timeframe, it has been decided to delay the publication of the new A.I.S.E. SUMI until 2016. The published set of GEIS will remain applicable until the new publication is available. 

Get to know more about GEIS via following materials developed:
Implementation of the A.I.S.E. GEIS/SUMI in Europe

  • The GEIS are also available in Dutch on the NVZ website here
  • The Portuguese authorities ACT are relaying information about the GEIS-SUMI on their website here