NCEC joined lead contractor AMEC in the presentation of the results of the Study to assess costs and benefits of data harmonisation for Poison Centres, which was run on behalf of the EU Commission.
Two sessions were of particular relevance for NCEC’s customers/stakeholders. The first was on CLP and the second was on Poison Centres.
Several working groups have been formed around the following and will report back on findings later in the year;
- Fold out labelling. Agreement to look into the possibilities to use multilingual fold-out labels
- Whether over packs can be considered as outer packaging
- Use of chemical names in labelling, leading to confusion
- Hazard communications for goods without packaging e.g. fuels and detergent refills
- P501 statements and their application for explosives.
Poison Centre update
The Commission plan to send a draft of their plans for harmonisation for review for CARACAL 18 in June. This will form the basis of future Commission proposal. There are several ongoing studies to support this;
- Exchange of data between organisations and Poison Centres in one XML format. Including the creation of a database for Member States and Poison Centres to use for these submissions (on a MS by MS basis i.e. not a central system). The study will also look at the way these databases can be linked, so Poison Centres can share information. BUT there are no plans to link these databases to ease the burden for those submitting. The interim results from this study will be shared on the 28th April
- A study to test the UFI generation software to ensure its robustness
- A system which will allow the statistical data from all EU poison centres to be combined in a common way, to aid reporting and understanding, currently Poison centres classify incidents in different ways
Several important clarifications were also made based on the questions from member states;
- Organisations who have already submitted data to a Poison Centre/Member state will not be required to resubmit under a harmonised system
- For those who change a substance - A threshold for mixture changes will be set, over which resubmission will be required, under which no change will be required.
- For non-hazardous substances that contain some hazardous material a threshold will be set over which the mixture will have to be registered with the Poison Centre as it may still present a hazard
- It is likely that implementation of harmonisation will start with consumer products, as these relate to the largest number of calls across all EU poison centres, often consumed by children who form a higher risk group.