In 2015, the workers of the Texas State Aquarium discovered something grim. In one of the tanks, all except for two fish died. How could it be? They were simply trying to treat the parasites present in the tank.
It was only after an investigation that they learned the cause: a chemical mislabel. The bottle said it contained the parasite treatment when, in fact, it had hydroquinone. It is the same substance found in motor fuels. The fish died due to poisoning.
The aquarium sued their source and the court ruled in favour of them. In the end, the supplier had to pay about $1 million in damages. This incident shows how important it is to put the right chemical labels on products distributed on the market.
The Dangers of Chemical Mislabel
Chemical mislabels are dangerous not only for the users but for the businesses as well. For one, it can drain your company budget quickly due to lawsuits or the cost of litigation. Because many people are trying to penalise the business and asking for damages, the cost of a settlement can reach millions.
Not surprisingly, well-publicised cases can be detrimental to your company’s reputation. Johnson & Johnson understands this. At the height of court rulings, including paying a woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer $72 million due to talcum powder, the company’s brand perception dropped. It fell by more than 60 per cent.
Reducing the Exposure
Running a business always has risks, but some of them can be significantly hurtful. They can force you to eventually stop the operations to reduce the losses. Fortunately, there are some effective ways to mitigate these risks.
For the manufacturers and retailers of chemical products, working with the experts in chemical labels is a must. It is not just about coming up with clear and visible warning stickers one can attach to the bottles or plastic containers. These companies have the knowledge of the rules and regulations, as well as policies that relate to or can affect the labelling process.
In other words, you already reduce or avoid the risks even before the products hit the shelves.
Can you ever shield yourself from possible lawsuits due to mislabelling? You cannot, particularly if you are guilty and the mistake caused severe damages. But you also want to give yourself and the business a fighting chance. Prevention is the only solution.