Poison Centre Survey Results

NCEC Poison Centres

The recent poison centre survey, carried out by NCEC and Chemical Watch, provided valuable insight into some of the challenges being faced by the industry.

The survey and feedback from a poison centre seminar identified the following concerns:

  • Administration. The existing process for registration is complex. Even if harmonisation were to take place, the UFI may increase costs for manufacturers with frequently changing formulations.
  • Expertise. Poison centre willingness to provide non-exposure advice is a concern as other, more competant bodies exist to do this.
  • Availability. Not all poison centres operate 24/7, so there is a concern that advice may not be available during an incident involving human health. In addition, not all poison centres are available to the public, despite the fact anyone can be exposed to chemicals.
  • Communication. Lack of engagement between poison centres and industry has raised quality concerns.
  • Funding. Many participants did not wish for legislation to force them to pay for the services of poison centres, especially where alternatives exist. On the other hand, it is unclear how else poison centres may be funded if European governments are not keen to contribute.
  • Impact on small businesses. With the further demands on REACH scheduled in the coming years, it was feared that the introduction of new requirements could result in a further disproportionate impact on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Overall, there was a high level of dissatisfaction and a significant concern over likely developments in the future. It was viewed as essential that the European Commision listened to the concerns of the industry and made allowances for a common-sense approach towards emergency response.

If you would like any further information on either this study or working with poison centres please email