Some products may cause harm to people or ecosystems, either because of the way they are designed, or because there is a reasonable chance that customers could misuse them or dispose of them incorrectly. The company must make potential customers aware of any such risks, to empower them to make well-informed decisions regarding their purchase, use and end-of-life processing of its products.
Products may cause harm in a wide variety of ways. Some examples include:
- Foods and beverages that affect a person’s health if consumed in excessive amounts.
- Products that contain known carcinogens or endocrine disrupters.
- Consumables containing non-biodegradable particles (e.g. plastic micro-beads in shampoo), whose emission into rivers and oceans, via wastewater, harms organisms.
- Complex financial products, whose use may undermine a customer’s livelihood if their associated risks are not properly understood.