Consumers come into contact with products such as cosmetics, food packaging and toys on a daily basis. The task of BfR is to assess these products and contribute to product safety through recommendations.
Product safety is hence an important task of consumer protection. It involves questions such as: Can a toy be toxic? Does a skin cream cause allergies? How does the skin react to detergent residues?
In the field of “product safety” BfR assesses the health risks of a large number of different products from the following product categories:
- Cosmetics and hygiene products
- Food packaging and containers
- Detergents and cleaning agents
- Tobacco products
- Other consumer products such as furniture, mattresses, carpets, DIY products
Whether the different products involve a health risk depends not only on the ingredients but primarily on how the consumer comes into contact with them. Consequently, it is decisive whether the products are firmly integrated into the products or whether they are released. BfR examines not only the substances used, but also their release.
The results of BFR’s risk assessment are integrated into recommendations for manufacturers.
Where do the data for the risk assessment of products come from?
For its risk assessment BfR uses data from different sources, including:
- Generally accessible data
- Data from own experimental research
- Data from BfR contract research at universities and other scientific institutions
- Data from external experts
BfR co-operates with international institutes and proposes measures for risk assessment and prevention to them. It contributes its knowledge, amongst others, to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) or the Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety and closely co-operates with these institutions.
- Food, consumer articles and feed code
- Consumer Goods Ordinance
- Cosmetics ordinance
- German equipment and product safety act
- Act concerning the environmental compatibility of detergents and cleaning agents