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Inadequate or misleading labelling or no labelling at all were some of the causes.In 1992 the participants at the Earth Summit staged by the United Nations decided, amongst other things, to introduce a globally harmonised labelling system for these substances by 2008.

However, this will only become mandatory after the expiry of the four or nine year transitional period.

The labelling regulation envisages nine new symbols, six of which are relevant for consumers.

Across the globe in future the red-framed, black pictograms on white rhombi will warn against the risks of chemical substances and products.

The symbols replace the black signs on an orange backdrop used up to now in Germany.

To ensure that the labels are assigned in a uniform manner, the United Nations drew up binding criteria for the “Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals”, in short GHS.

The new feature here is that in future the labelling will distinguish between chemicals that have an acute effect and can lead directly to poisoning and substances which damage health in a different way.

The second category includes for instance substances which can trigger cancer or can harm the foetus.

Lamp oils and grill lighters, which so far had only carried the “St.

Tomorrow the European Parliament adopts the new European Regulation on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Chemical Products.

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