Fact Sheet: Jokes and tricks

The use of dangerous liquid chemical substances or products in joke products is prohibited. Certain other substances are also prohibited in joke products. Examples of joke products include sneezing powder and stink bombs.

Dangerous substances are prohibited 

The use of dangerous liquid chemical substances or products in joke products is prohibited.

Chemical substances are considered dangerous if they are toxic, carcinogenic, corrosive, flammable or cause congenital damage.

Other prohibited substances

The following substances are also banned in joke products, such as sneezing powder and stink bombs:

  1. Powder produced from the bark of the Quillaja plant (Quillaja seponaia) and derived compounds containing saponin.
  2. Powder produced from hellebore plants (Helleborus viridis, Helleborus niger, Veratrum album and Veratrum nigrum).
  3. Benzidine and derived compounds.
  4. O-Nitrobenzaldehyde.
  5. Sawdust
  6. Ammonium sulphide.
  7. Ammonium hydrogen sulphide.
  8. Ammonium polysulphide.
  9. Volatile bromoacetate esters (methyl, ethyl, propyl and butyl bromoacetate).

Regulations aim to protect against hazard

The regulations exist to avoid damage to the environment and injury to humans through contact with dangerous chemical substances or products. Dangerous substances are therefore banned from joke products.

Importers, producers and distributors are responsible

Anyone who sells, imports or produces joke products is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations, as set out in the Statutory Order.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s chemical inspectors monitor compliance with the regulations and will ensure that illegal situations are brought into compliance. This may involve withdrawing the product from the Danish market, or making the product legal in some other way. Anyone who breaches the regulations may additionally face a fine or prison sentence of up to two years.

More information

The full text of the regulations is available (in Danish) at the Retsinformation website:

Ministry of the Environment Statutory Order no. 1042 of 17 December 1997 limiting the sale and use of certain dangerous chemical substances and products for specific purposes (in Danish). Sections 17 and 18 discuss joke products.

Ministry of the Environment Statutory Order no. 329 of 16 May 2002 on the classification, packaging, labelling, sale and storage of chemical substances and products” (at www.retsinfo.dk , in Danish) specifies which chemical substances and products are dangerous.