The legal framework governing the production and distribution of paints and varnishes in Greece is fully harmonised with the European legislation. It aims to best ensure that the final product remains environmentally-friendly throughout its lifecycle and to provide direct information to the consumer regarding the potential risks related to the marketed product. This is exactly how VITEX, the largest Greek paint and varnish manufacturer, perceives the implementation of the consolidated European legislation. We do not only focus on compulsory compliance with auditing mechanisms and State requirements, we also see the regulations as an opportunity to introduce customers to the products we market, to inform them about our products and to demonstrate that our products are environmentally-friendly and user-friendly, and are based on respect for the end users. The label on the packaging is a means of communicating with the consumers and identifies the characteristic of each product: how it is applied, any hazard which results from its natural and chemical properties, the risks to human health and the impact of the product on the environment. For us, the label is not merely proof that the product complies with legislation applicable to the industry. Consumers can easily and simply read the label to get a comprehensive idea of the product they want to use. Product labelling / product risks and interpretation.

Product labelling / product risks and interpretation.

CLP Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 and all subsequent amendments and revisions thereof adequately determine the use of hazard pictograms, hazard statements and precautionary statements based on the hazards of the raw materials used and the risks associated with the use of the final product. Below, you can see the pictograms used on the label and how to interpret them.

  • Explosives 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and Unstable Explosives
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures Type A, B
  • Organic Peroxides Type A, B
  • Gases under pressure: Compressed gas
  • Liquefied gas
  • Refrigerated liquefied gas
  • Acute Toxicity category 1, 2, 3 (oral, dermal, inhalation)
  • Acute Toxicity (oral, dermal, inhalation) category 4
  • Irritation: skin/eye category 2
  • Skin sensitisation category 1
  • Respiratory tract irritation
  • Specific target organ toxicity (STOT) single exposure category 3
  • Narcotic effects
  • Respiratory tract sensitisation category 1 CMR (category 1A, 1B, 2)
  • Specific target organ toxicity (STOT) category 1, 2
  • Aspiration hazard category 1
  • Corrosive to metals category 1
  • Skin corrosive category 1Α, 1Β, 1C
  • Serious eye damage category 1
  • Hazardous to the aquatic environment
  • Acute toxicity category 1
  • Chronic toxicity category 1, 2
  • Flammable: gases category 1, liquids category 1,2,3, solids category 1,2, aerosols category 1,2
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures type B, C, D, E, F
  • Pyrophoric: liquids and solids category 1 Self
  • Heating substances and mixtures category 1, 2
  • Substances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases, category 1, 2, 3
  • Organic Peroxides Type B, C, D, E, F
  • Oxidising:
  •  Gases, category 1,
  • Liquids category 1, 2, 3
  • Solids 1, 2, 3

Any product-related risk or hazard is properly indicated on the packaging based on the applicable legislation and its adjustments, thus providing assurance to the consumer that the product illustrated on the packaging corresponds to the actual product therein, in terms of risks and hazard. Taking a brief look at the company’s products, it is evident that our policy is based on continuous improvement and evolution of our products, avoiding the use of oxidising, toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic raw materials and limiting the use of environmentally hazardous substances in all products marketed to the general public. Safety Data Sheets for the products, which are available to anyone upon request and also on this website, contain more information on the safe use of the company’s products and on any hazardous substances they may contain.

V.O.C.s (Volatile Organic Compounds)

European Community directive 2004/42/CE defines the maximum VOCs content limit values for each different category of Paints and Varnishes. In article 2, paragraph 5 of the above mentioned directive the definition of VOC is given: “Volatile Organic Compound” VOC means any organic compound having an initial boiling point less than or equal to 250°C measured at a standard pressure of 101,3 kPa.

VOCs are organic compounds, having high vapor pressure in atmospheric conditions and a fast evaporation rate. The VOC content of paints and varnishes gives rise to significant emissions of VOC into the air, which contribute to formation of local and transboundary photochemical oxidants in the boundary layer of the troposphere.

In order to reduce the concentration of volatile organic compounds emitted to atmosphere, specific VOC content limits are applied to each category product. “VOC content” means the mass of VOCs expressed in g/L (grams/litre) in the formulation of the product in its ready to use condition.

The total compliance of the products sold in European market with the maximum VOC content limits of the directive in 2 stages – 2 phases. Phase I from 1.1.2007 and from 1.1.2010 phase II. Limits for any category are mentioned on the following table (WB= WaterBased, SB= SolventBased)

Product subcategory Type (g/L)
a  Interior mat walls and ceilings (Gloss<=25@60°)  WB
b Interior glossy walls and ceilings (Gloss>25@60°) WB
c Exterior walls of mineral substrate WB
d Interior/Exterior trim and cladding paints for wood and metal WB
e Interior/Exterior varnishes and woodstains including opaque woodstains WB
f Interior and exterior minimal build woodstains WB
g Primers WB
h Binding Primers WB
i One pack performance coatings WB
j Two pack reactive performance coatings for specific end use such as floors WB
k Multi-coloured coatings WB
l Decorative effect coatings WB

VITEX accepting the high responsibility, having inherent respect for the environment and also proven compliance with the European legislation in force, has already decreased the maximum VOC content on product range, complying with the requests of European directive 2004/42/CE.

Considering labels as means of information and protection of customer, company has decided to include Voc low marking on the label of packed products, wanting to inform customer / user / professional user for the complete compliance with legislation.

The package of each product includes the following information on label:

  • category in which product belongs
  • maximum VOC content allowed for product and
  • maximum VOC content (all shades) in product in g/L.

REACH (Regulation Evaluation Authorization of Chemicals)

European regulation REACH 1907/2006 (Regulation Evaluation Authorization of Chemicals) is in force from 2006 and constitutes the most recent legislation effort for registration, recording, evaluation and safe handling of chemical substances. The regulation is of huge importance for the European chemical industry and it could not be otherwise. REACH refers to production, import, handling and trade in European market chemical substances, as individual substances, as contents in preparations or as contents in articles. Essential aim is the protection of human health and environment from possible hazards caused by inconsiderate handling of chemical substances.

REACH is the effort of chemical industry to record all uses of chemical substances, recognize their properties, acknowledge the possible hazards acquired from inconsiderate handling (for all the life circle of substance) and offer customers sufficient information about safe handling of the individual substance or the final product they purchase.

In order to achieve the above objective a strict timetable for the registration of chemical substances exists. ECHA (European CHemical Agency), which manages the technical, scientific and administrative aspects of REACH, handles registration requests. Each user of chemical substances recognizes his role in the supply chain (producer – importer – downstream user) and proceeds in the essential activities required by the regulation.

VITEX has the role of downstream user, since we use chemical substances for the production of our final products (paints and varnishes). These substances are supplied to us as pure substances or as preparations. The obligations, responsibilities and rights of downstream users are specified in the Title V of regulation and in the guidance document of ECHA “Guidance Document for Downstream Users”.

VITEX is in position to assure all collaborators and users of our final products that we always take -in time- all essential actions, according to our obligations defined by REACH regulation. In this direction, having also in mind the present phase REACH regulation is (on timetable), we try to remain on continuous contact with our suppliers, observing the compliance with REACH regulation (per phase on timetable) of all the raw materials we use.

From customers’ viewpoint, REACH regulation answers any possible questions about safe handling of the products they purchase. REACH also supports the confidence for the restriction of dangerous for health or environment substances.