The Precautionary Principle

Nordic Ecolabelling wants to exclude or limit certain substances that are suspected of having undesirable properties, even though these are neither hazardously classified nor on an authority-regulated list.

For example, if substances are self-classified by the manufacturers without having a harmonized classification or if only selected substances are. Or if new research has shown that a substance, that does not previously have known adverse properties, turns out to have an undesirable property in a longer perspective or as a degradation product.

It can take some time before new research is confirmed and ends up with a changed hazard classification and for groups of substances, it might only be selected substances that have been fully investigated, like phthalates. Here, Nordic Ecolabelling can choose to exclude or limit the substance, or the entire group of substances, by use of the precautionary principle.