Safe use information for end-users

A.I.S.E. and its Dutch National Association, NVZ, have developed a tool to help Downstream Users’ (DU) with their duty to communicate safe use information as prescribed by 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 such as A.I.S.E. members companies, are required to take into account safe use information received from their suppliers via the ESs and to pass relevant information down the supply chain to customers via their product Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

Safe use mixtures information

The "Safe Use of Mixtures Information- SUMI" (previously called "Generic Exposure Information from Substances – GEIS”), 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 SUMIs are intentionally simple and clear. The target audience is people who use these products and may not have deep chemical knowledge and are not familiar with the REACH jargon used in Exposure Scenarios (ES).

As an example, cleaners who work with products on a daily basis should be able to easily 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 Exchange Network on Exposure Scenarios (ENES). 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, with the new SUMI terminology and guidance published in 2015. 

The A.I.S.E. SUMI material, published in 2018, is available to all companies in the links below: 58 SUMI documents in multiple languages, guidance, training videos and safe use pictograms.  Please note: these SUMIs replace the previous GEIS (Generic Exposure Information from Substances) which are no longer applicable. 

The SUMI material includes links to the Guidance Document and zip file containing all 58 currently created SUMIs in English. Links to SUMI documents, translated into German, Italian and Finnish are below. For other languages translations will be provided by National Associations in due course.

Disclaimer: The information provided in the SUMI package aims at supporting suppliers of ingredients, formulators of detergent products and their end users and Occupational Health managers of institutional cleaning companies to comply with their duties under REACH. It has been gathered to the best of our knowledge and it may be subject to changes. The information provided in the Guidance is intended for information purposes only. Compliance with REACH is an individual company responsibility and A.I.S.E. and NVZ assume no liability for any use made by any person or company having access to this information. 

To help ensure safe use of our products and communicate the value of the SUMI tools to professional cleaning companies at whom the tools are targeted, a set of four short training videos has been developed, based on input from the REACH experts. These videos have been shared with EFCI who represents the professional cleaning and services sector, for their network. 

In 2018, DUCC developed a series of seven pictograms to illustrate the conditions of safe use used in the A.I.S.E. SUMIs.