Defra on Formaldehyde (Formalin)
From 1st January 2016 formaldehyde will be classified as a Category 1B carcinogen. It will only be available for professional use and must only be sold by a registered supplier.
According to Defra, the key impacts of this on animal related agriculture are as follows:
- There is no UK legal definition of “professional”. Therefore users in the UK are required to be competent and using the chemical in a professional activity.
- Fish, poultry, sheep and cattle farmers – as professionals – will be able to continue to use products containing formaldehyde for dis-infection, fumigation and foot bathing purposes. It can be used for other professional purposes e.g. preservation of samples for histopathology.
- Whoever is physically using the product must be competent enough to meet the restrictions and precautions detailed by the labelling. There is no requirement to prove competency before purchase and use. However if a health and safety issue arose through its use and be investigated, and the person using it found not to have been suitably trained and competent, then there could be grounds for prosecution.
- UK suppliers of formaldehyde containing products will have 2 options in becoming registered suppliers:
- They would need to become part of the German consortium and pay a fee
- The German registered supplier cannot refuse, if asked, to share the appropriate data and provide a letter of access to another company when requested. There is no barrier to the requesting company being asked to pay for this access, but it then makes them part of the registered supplier supply chain and able to access the product.