Work safely with chemicals, work with NCEC

Welcome to our latest newsletter.

We have plenty of news on new legislation and new services from NCEC so please read on to find out more.

Hazmat Event 2010 proved to be an even greater success than previous years. Read on for the review of this year's event.

Our ever popular Hazmat Scale Cards are now available in poster size and are proving a great hit too.

If there are any topics you would like us to cover in future newsletters then please let us know. We are also very pleased to receive your comments so call us on +44 (0) 1235 75 3654 or email:

Happy reading.

Boris Salle
Sales Director
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 75 3654





 REACH Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern for Authorisation Grows

The European Chemicals Agency has added 14 chemical substances to the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) for authorisation.

Companies who manufacture or import these 14 substances will need to check their potential obligations that result from the listing. Companies may have legal obligations resulting from the inclusion of substances in the List. These obligations can apply to the listed substances on their own as well as in mixtures and in articles.

For more information on the 14 substances that have been added to the SVHC for authorisation, your obligations as a company manufacturing, or importing, theses chemicals, and the authorising process please contact NCEC.

Tel: +44 (0) 1235 75 3654



The European Chemicals Agency has begun a public consultation on the proposal to harmonise the classification and labelling of three chemical substances.

The proposals in this consultation are:

White spirits (Denmark)

Proposal: Denmark proposes changes to the current harmonised classification by adding classification as harmful (Harmful: danger of serious damage to health by prolonged exposure through inhalation).

Fuberidazole (United Kingdom)

Proposal: UK proposes changes to the current harmonised classification by adding classification as sensitising (May cause sensitisation by skin contact) and harmful (Harmful: danger of serious damage to health by prolonged exposure if swallowed).

Thiacloprid (United Kingdom)

Proposal: Thiacloprid has currently no harmonised classification and the UK proposes to classify it as 'Toxic if swallowed' and 'Harmful by inhalation', and for carcinogenicity in category 3 as there is 'Limited evidence of a carcinogenic effect' and for reproductive toxicity as category 3 because of 'Possible risk of impaired fertility'.

The Danish and UK authorities have submitted to ECHA dossiers on these substances and asked for their classification and labelling to be harmonised across the European Union.



Section 1.9.5 of ADR 2009 states that as of 01/01/2010, the new tunnel provisions require consignors to include the relevant tunnel restriction code given in column 15 of the dangerous goods list (Table A of Chapter 3.2) on the transport document.  Although, this would not be necessary if the route that is taken is known not to go through a tunnel with restrictions.

If you are not sure whether the tunnel restrictions apply to you or impact your business, please contact the NCEC for more information.
Revised Guidance Issued for the review and revision of COMAH safety reports for top tier establishments

The COMAH safety reports guidance has been updated to reflect changes in arrangements for the submission and assessment of a five-year safety report review.

To view the guidance, please follow the link below for the HSE website; or contact NCEC for more information.


The 2010 Hazmat Event promised to be bigger and better than ever before and thanks to ongoing support from both the Emergency Services and a large variety of other Hazmat professionals, this promise was not broken.

The Third Annual Conference for Hazmat professionals was held over two days at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Birmingham, and had the greatest turnout the event has ever experienced, with over 130 delegates and speakers building upon the success of the past two years.  The event was a great opportunity for a large range of experts to connect, share experiences and learn about the latest developments relating to the Hazmat industry.

Vij Randeniya OBE, West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service, opened the proceedings by expressing that the conference was a great opportunity for all Hazmat responders to communicate with each other effectively and how we can continue learning from each other's experiences.


The conference presentations began with a much-needed clarification from Professor Allister Vale of the National Poisons Information Service (Birmingham Unit), City Hospital on the controversies over the management of Hydrofluoric Acid (HF). It was interesting for all delegates to hear about the controversy surrounding some HF decontamination techniques which may currently be used, and the potential that alternative techniques may be more suitable that are not currently being investigated, specifically the use of Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and its efficient absorption of Calcium Gluconate.

Duncan White of Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue gave a particularly interesting presentation on an acetylene fire incident and the repercussions the incident could have had on both people and the environment if it had not been handled carefully.

Other highlights from day one of the conference included a joint effort from Peter Gustafson, London Fire Brigade and Peter Cope, Scientific Adviser for Bureau Veritas, on the handling of Hazmat incidents in the capital, NCEC's own Hugh Roberts on the future technology of nanoparticles and the potential impact on the Hazmat world, future trends in road transport from Brian Randal of Veridas Consulting Ltd, and also a variety of presentations on exposure and monitoring from Mark Gibbs at the Met Office, Damien Thompson from the Environment Agency, and Chris Keen of the Health and Safety Laboratory.

All the presentations provided the delegates with plenty to discuss over dinner on the evening of day one. After a packed day of informative information, a little light relief was greatly appreciated in the form of after-dinner speaker, comedian Gary Marshall, who provided a much needed break from the thought of all related to Hazmat in preparation of an equally informative day two.

Day two was opened by Ali Karim of the Hazchem Network. Ali was particularly successful in emphasising the need for packaged goods to be loaded correctly onto transport vehicles and provided great photographic evidence of the repercussions associated with poor packing and loading.

Bob Hark, Area Manager Dorset Fire & Rescue gave an overview of the New National Operations Guidance due to be launched to all Fire & Rescue Services on 29 September 2010 at the Fire and Rescue College. The guidance will contain information on operational, tactical and technical advice for all FRS who handle Hazmat Incidents as well as CBRN and decontamination information.


After lunch we were pleased to welcome Jim Moffat, South Hook LNG, and Geoff Hunt, K Line LNG Shipping (UK) Ltd who gave a detailed presentation on the movement of LNG at the shoreline, the properties of LNG and the movement of LNG across the waters. Both presentations were a welcome addition to the ever growing Hazmat event.

Day two ended with two presentations about gas safety. We received an insider's view on the handling of gas cylinders during incident response from Lester Bradley, BOC Group, and a detailed presentation on the recommended 24 hour, 200m exclusion zone for acetylene cylinders involved in a fire and whether looking at whether this advice is valid and if there is potential to reduce the time, resulting in a more quick and efficient incident response.

Conference Overview

The delegate feedback from the event once again reinforced the need for a meeting of this kind to share experiences and information provided by a large range of speakers who are experts in their fields. Comments such as “It is a little chastening sometimes to be reminded just how much you don't know, and about so many subjects, too seemed to solidify the reason for the Hazmat Conference to continue for many more years to come.

Register your interest for the Hazmat 2011 event today!


Are you providing sufficient chemical safety information to your employees and subcontractors?

Provision of information around chemical safety to employees and subcontractors, in particular chemical safety data sheets, has been a legal requirement within the UK for some considerable time. However, as we are hit with more and more legislative requirements, for example COSHH, REACH and GHS/CLP, the need for clarity in providing such information is becoming increasingly important.

In recognition of this, and of the importance of doing all of this in a cost effective manner, NCEC has recently upgraded its ChemeDox® online chemical safety documentation management system to include an SDS Location module.

Available as an extension to ChemeDox® Gold the SDS Location module allows users to:

  • Set up and manage a location matrix which is tailored to your business - this can include locations by organisational site right down to a specific laboratory or chemicals store
  • Assign SDSs to particular locations. By default all associated additional documents (for example, COSHH assessments, training records etc) will then be captured by location
  • Search for SDSs and other chemical safety documentation by location - for example, by site, by production line etc

The uniqueness of this module is such that throughout your organisation it:

  • Ensures consistency of your chemical safety information
  • Avoids the risk of document duplication
  • Allows you to maintain an audit trail of your chemical safety documentation by location

SDS Location module example


To find out more about ChemeDox® and the SDS Location module, or to have a trial account contact us.








undefinedNEW!!!  With all the recent and pending legislation changes, NCEC has released a new Hazchem Scale Card in the form of a poster.

Our popular Hazchem Scale Cards are now available as A1 and A2 sized posters.



Hazchem Scale Cards are a handy-sized reference guide which gives you information on:

New GHS Symbols

Hazchem Warning Panels, Emergency Action Codes, ADR 2009

New and updated Hazard Identification Numbers (HIN)

Hazard Warning Diamonds and Supply Labelling

For a quote on either the Hazchem Scale Cards or the posters please contact us.


Little known legislation on environmental civil sanctions brings criminal prosecutions a step closer

The 'Environmental Damage Remediation' regulation came into force last March in England and Wales, yet very few businesses are fully aware of its implications. Under this new directive the onus is on the polluter to demonstrate that they have taken preventive action as well as remediation measures.  The regulation applies only to operators of economic activities. Companies dealing, for example, in waste management or chemical manufacturing would be liable to prosecution under this directive.

It is important to know that this is an administrative regulation, so only official bodies can take economic operators to task, not the public (though they can of course inform the agencies in question).

In England, the Environment Agency is currently carrying out a consultation exercise on the implementation of civil sanctions that will accompany this directive and interested parties can still express their views using the forms available within the Environment Agency's web site.

The application of this new regulation will herald the implementation of criminal penalties for environmental infringements, also expected to be incorporated in the Statues by the end of this year. Any event, it is expected that by September 2010 the Environment Agency will commence enforcing this new regulation, with potentially heavy fines for non compliance (some unofficial estimates are for a total annual amount of collected fines close to £20 million).

It is therefore now more important than ever for anyone dealing with hazardous products to demonstrate that their processes are beyond mere compliance and that all reasonable steps are taken to prevent not just safety but also environmental incidents. NCEC is uniquely placed to offer businesses chemical risk management coupled by environmental audits, as part of the global leading environmental consultancy AEA.



A new service from NCEC

Is your organisation currently using large volumes of solvents?
We may be able to help you with SAFER alternatives.

If you supply us with the details of your current solvents we shall send you a list of suitable alternatives, including full details on their physical properties, associated hazards, toxicity and flammability in comparison with the original product.



Now with over 36,000 substances and over 116,000 synonyms and trade names, the 2009.2 version of Chemdata® has been released to licence holders via our new Customer Portal. Making the Chemdata® software updates available in this manner is not only more convenient for our users but it also reduces packaging and materials thereby reducing our impact on the environment. We have had an overwhelmingly positive response from our customers and we thank them for their continued support.

The new Chemdata® demo can be viewed at


Pesticide poisons man

A man had attempted to commit suicide by ingesting an unknown chemical. Several people who had been in close contact with the person were also feeling unwell.

NCEC were able to identify the product involved as an aluminium phosphide-based pesticide from the information available at the scene. We advised the emergency services on the toxic nature of the product and its potential to generate highly toxic phosphine gas on contact with water.

Lorry leaks liquid

A lorry carrying a variety of chemicals in several Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs) had been stopped at junction 20 of the M1 near Lutterworth due to a large leak of an unknown blue liquid.  Little was known about the load, which was causing a delay in the clean up of the spill.

NCEC were able to assist the Fire Service by identifying the materials involved from the UN numbers which had been obtained from the scene. We were then able to advise on the likely hazards of the substances involved, and recommend suitable personal protective equipment to be worn by those clearing up the spillage. We also advised the Police Service regarding medical treatment of the driver, who had come into contact with the spill, as well as assisting in the sourcing of outside contractors to recover the chemicals involved.

Explosive smoke bomb

A young male had attempted to construct a smoke bomb by mixing potassium nitrate and sugar. The oxidising substance had quickly reacted with the sugar and the mixture had exploded, resulting in the teenager sustaining burns to his hands.

NCEC advised the Fire Service on the hazards of potassium nitrate and of the likely products from such a reaction. We also provided advice on suitable personal protective equipment and the actions required to make the area safe. We deduced that the boy's injuries were most likely to be thermal burns due to the explosion and exposure to molten caramel, rather than chemical burns.


What are the hazards of the chemicals you work with?
What action would you need to take during a chemical incident?

If you don't know the answers to these questions you could be putting yourself and others at risk!

NCEC offer training courses on:

  • 1st Response
  • Chemical Hazard Response
  • Practical Response
  • REACH (Exposure Scenarios)
  • Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP)
  • Transportation of Lithium batteries

Future courses:


Date Course
Tuesday 9 March 2010 Chemical Hazard Awareness Conwy, North Wales ** FULLY BOOKED**
Tuesday 23 March 2010 Practical Response Manchester  **FULLY BOOKED**
Thursday 23 September 2010 1st Response Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire
Tuesday 15 March 2011 1st Response TBC