The biocidal product regulation10 years on


ERM Limited, The Exchange, Harrogate, United Kingdom


Biocides are important tools for society to maintain its standards of health and to achieve its targets for a sustainable future. The benefits that biocides offer to meet these goals are balanced by the need to ensure they can be used safely. The Biocidal Product Regulation (BPR) controls the use of biocides and it has been in force now for 10 years. The BPR is arguably the most complex piece of legislation regulating the use of chemicals in Europe. Its complexity is compounded by delays in delivering its core purpose. This article looks at some of the changes to the BPR over the last 10 years, it considers progress made in delivering key regulatory objectives and offers some thoughts on how the BPR might evolve in the future.

Biocides provide benefits to humans and the environment in many areas where microbial control is necessary, such as protecting process efficiency (slimicides), preventing product spoilage (wet-state preservatives) and conserving the use of natural resources (material preservatives). They also maintain our current standard of health, where products such as disinfectants, insecticides, insect repellents and rodenticides play a pivotal role in vector control and in the ongoing fight against infection. Biocides are therefore important for society, especially in an era where sustainable products and efficient processes are critical to the climate change response and the availability of disinfectants to protect against the consequences of developing microbiological agents, such as Covid-19, is vital.


Whilst biocides provide benefits, they also represent a potential risk to humans and the environment from the substances they contain. These risks are managed in the EU through the regulatory processes in place under the Biocidal Products Regulation (Regulation (EU) 528/2012 – the ‘BPR’). In this article we will look at the ...