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Recommendation of the Council of the Determination of the Biodegradability of Anionic Synthetic Surface Active Agents
13 July 1971 - C(71)83/FINAL


HAVING REGARD to Article 5 b) of the Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development of 14 December 1960;

HAVING REGARD to the European Agreement on the restriction of the use of certain detergents in washing and cleaning products which was proposed for signature to the member countries of the Council of Europe on 16 September 1968 and which came into force on 16 February 1971;

HAVING REGARD to the Report on the determination of the biodegradability of anionic synthetic surface active agents adopted by the Environment Committee at its 2nd Session on 24-26 March 1971;

CONSIDERING the work of the Organisation in the field of environment and, in particular, the studies on the pollution of water by detergents;

CONSIDERING the international scale of the firms producing detergents and the inconvenience which could result from Member countries adopting different methods for determining the biodegradability of surface active agents used in the composition of these detergents;

CONSIDERING that improvements may be made during the coming years with regard to the methods for determining the biodegradability of detergents, and that the Environment Committee has at its disposal, through its Water Management Group, adequate means for examining any desirable modification to the present proposed methods;

On the proposal of the Environment Committee;

I.   RECOMMENDS that the Governments of Member countries accept, to the extent which prevailing conditions in each country permit, the system of testing proposed in the Report on the determination of the biodegradability of anionic synthetic surface active agents, which is set out in the Annex[1] to the present Recommendation.

II.   INVITES the Environment Committee to continue the examination of this question, with a view to proposing, if found desirable, more simple or more appropriate methods upon which Member countries might eventually agree.

III.   INVITES the Secretary-General to transmit the present Recommendation to the Council of Europe and other interested international organisations, for information.

IV.   INVITES the Governments of Member countries to inform the Organisation, after a two year period, of the measures taken pursuant to the present Recommendation.

Relevant body:
Management Committee of the Special Programme on the Control of Chemicals now called Chemicals Committee

[1] This Annex was distributed under reference C(71)83(Final). This document can be obtained from the OECD Microfilm Library.
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