Enzymes are important constituents of modern detergent products. They are proteins which catalyse chemical reactions: they break down soils and stains and thus achieve improved washing performance.
Safe handling of enzymes during the manufacturing process is important because, if inhaled in their raw state, in the form of dust or aerosols, they may cause respiratory allergy similar to other well-known allergens like pollen, house dust mites and animal dander. When added to detergent products, enzymes are treated, for example, by encapsulation, making them safe for consumers to use.
In the following sections of this page, you will find the guidance and some informative and training material, including a series of webinars, that A.I.S.E and its network are supporting to help manage enzymes safely.
The material has been prepared by the A.I.S.E. Enzymes Safety Working Group (previously called A.I.S.E. Enzyme Safety Task Force) in line with EU regulations. The information contained below has general applicability to the detergent and cleaning industry ; it may be applied in other jurisdictions but legal compliance in those areas must be assured separately. A.I.S.E. assumes no liability for any errors or omissions or for the use made of the document by any person or company.
I. GUIDELINES - UPDATED (March 2018)
While primarily aimed at the detergent industry, including both powder and liquid plants, the principles of the guidance are generally applicable to other enzyme-handling occupations. In addition, the guidance is useful for enzyme manufacturers or importers and detergents manufacturers in meeting their obligations under REACH
to manage the adequate control of risks of enzymes
Download Executive Summary of guidelines on safe handling of enzymes here
Download the FULL guidelines on safe handling of enzymes here
II. TRAINING MATERIAL FOR WORKERS/ OPERATORS
A.I.S.E. and AMFEP (Association of Manufacturers and Formulators of Enzyme Products) have jointly developed guidelines for those handling or working with enzymes. A list of tips and safe working practices has been prepared in the form of a poster.
This information is provided free of charge and is based on technical data that the A.I.S.E./AMFEP participating member companies believe to be reliable.
It is intended for use by persons having technical skills and at their own discretion and risk. Since conditions of use are outside our control, we make no warranties, express or implied, and assume no liability in connection with any use of this information. Nothing herein is to be taken as a license to operate under or a recommendation to infringe any patents.
Any use of the guidelines should make reference to the ownership by A.I.S.E./AMFEP. Translations are provided to facilitate the usage of this material worldwide and ensure the highest level possible of workers’ protection. However, each company using the guidelines should secure adequate translation. A.I.S.E./AMPFEP accepts no liability for such translations. Please note that in cases where some brands can be recognised in the images, those are included only as illustrative examples and A.I.S.E./AMFEP do not recommend any brand in particular.
Download the poster on the safe handling of enzymes: English
III. WEBINAR DATES AND MATERIAL
The A.I.S.E. Enzyme Safety Working Group is a cross industry group of detergent manufacturing companies and enzyme suppliers whose aim is to promote the safe handling of enzymes used in the detergent products in Europe.
The Working Group runs a series of short webinars covering the fundamentals of enzyme safety and the risk management measures required for the safe manufacturing of enzyme containing detergent products.
Each interactive webinar is led by a member of the A.I.S.E. Enzyme working Group and lasts approximately 45 minutes (incl. Q&A).
- 1. Introduction to Enzyme Safety - 1st October 2015 @ 14:00 CET
- 2. Enzymes: Risk Management Measures - 12th November 2015 @ 14:00 CET
- 3. Engineering Controls: Safety and Engineering Teams - 2nd February 2016 @ 15:00 CET
- 4. Exposure Monitoring: Safety, Laboratory & Quality Managers, Laboratory Staff - 16 March 2016 @ 15:00 CET
- 5. Health Surveillance: Site Management, Safety Managers, Occupational Health - 6th April 2016 @ 15:00 CET
- 6. Performance Monitoring: Site Management, Safety Managers, Occupational Health - 31 May 2016 @ 14:00 to 16:00 CET
In addition to the webinars, presentations (but no live sessions) are available on the following topics:
- 7. Questions & Answers A collection of the questions received and the answers given by the experts during the live stream of the webinar series presented by the A.I.S.E./AMFEP companies.
- 8. Consumer Safety: Product Development, Product Safety, R&D Enzymes can bring significant benefits to detergent products, including improved efficiencies and other benefits. However, prior to introducing enzymes into a product, a risk assessment must be conducted to ensure the safe use by the end user. This document provides an introduction of how to conduct such a risk assessment. Further information can be obtained via the references in the document or via the enzyme suppliers.
9. Laboratory Safety Prior to the production of enzyme-containing detergent products, such products are typically developed on a small scale in laboratories. However, irrespective of the smaller scale, careless handling of enzymes and disregarding elementary measures to avoid exposure to enzymes may create a comparable level of risk for respiratory sensitization comparable to production processes with insufficient safety standards. This document shows examples of typical sources of exposure in R&D laboratories and provides guidance on the safe handling of enzymes considering, the more specific characteristics of development projects and lab work.