Caution section in factsheet
February 7, 2012 7:55 AM   Subscribe

We are creating factsheets for animal feed products. What is the best title for the section dealing with the potential health-related problems buyers/users should be aware of? These problems can range from "mostly innocuous" (May cause soft droppings in poultry) to "lethal" (Should be detoxified). Right now the section is called "Caution" but we've been told that it's not very good (we're not native English speakers). The title should catch people's attention without being alarmist since serious problems are uncommon.
posted by elgilito to Writing & Language (16 answers total)
"Product Safety"
posted by jon1270 at 8:03 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:05 AM on February 7, 2012

"Side Effects", maybe?
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:09 AM on February 7, 2012

You might want to look at the MSDS ("Material Safety Data Sheets") for similar products. I did a little searching and found that they use terms like "Health Hazard," "Toxicological Information," "Protection," "Emergency and First Aid Procedures"... IANAL but I assume these all have legal meanings & obligations, and the regulations may differ where you are distributing your products.
posted by bcwinters at 8:17 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

You should consult an attorney or consultant who specializes in this area; I'd assume there are various statutes (depending upon the end market) that affect the factsheets.
posted by seventyfour at 8:19 AM on February 7, 2012

The first thing that comes to mind is my car's manual, actually. It uses 'caution' and a thin box for lesser concerns, and 'WARNING' and a yellow box for more serious ones.
posted by cobaltnine at 8:21 AM on February 7, 2012

"Side effects" sounds about right, and generally is known for covering side effects from innocuous to potentially lethal.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:31 AM on February 7, 2012

Response by poster: I should have been a little bit more precise. The factsheets are short scientific monographs, not commercial documents. Also, while they cover commercial products (grains, additives etc.), many of these "products" are plants eaten by the animals in their natural habitat (grass, tree leaves, fallen pods etc.). There are very good answers already.
posted by elgilito at 8:40 AM on February 7, 2012

"Caution" actually sounds perfect to this native English speaker. It suggests something that must be paid attention to, but is not inherently dangerous.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:48 AM on February 7, 2012

Potential Adverse Reactions
posted by radioamy at 9:09 AM on February 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by unknowncommand at 9:20 AM on February 7, 2012

Best answer: Agree with "potential adverse effects" or "potential concerns"

May help to google around a bit for other factsheets. My quick search found "Considerations for use". Maybe that, with extra labels/subheads (as suggested above, Caution! for lesser problems and WARNING for major potential issues.)
posted by NikitaNikita at 9:47 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have dealt with documents that categorized these based on degree of severity, where the levels were introduced by words like "note/caution/danger." You might consider that approach.

I think "considerations for use" sounds great as a catch-all.
posted by adamrice at 10:05 AM on February 7, 2012

"Potential Adverse Health Effects" (a bit wordy and bureaucratic, but perfectly clear).
posted by nangar at 2:08 PM on February 7, 2012

"Potential Hazards" would be my choice.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:21 PM on February 7, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks to all. I guess we'll use "potential concerns" which seems the best catch-all for non-medical products that are generally safe and non-hazardous. For instance, there may be "potential concerns" with straw but no "side effects" or "hazards".
posted by elgilito at 2:49 AM on February 11, 2012

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