May 2010 Newsletter

Work safely with chemicals, work with NCEC

Welcome to the latest edition of the NCEC newsletter,

This issue is packed with information and updates about legislation, including safety data sheets, Transport of Dangerous Goods, CLP, REACH and more. You can also find out about the new addition to ChemeDox®, our SDS and COSHH Management system. 

All multilingual customers of Carechem 24 International should now be aware of some forthcoming changes to their multilingual telephone numbers. Customers who have not already spoken to us, please contact NCEC as soon as possible. All telephone numbers for accessing the English language only service remain unchanged, but the changes will affect most USA (+1 country code) numbers. Please contact Lynn Aitken with any questions about the telephone numbers you use to access Carechem 24.

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

Happy reading.
Bill Atkinson
Head of Emergency Response



Safety Data Sheet Legislation

CLP regulation
Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) introduces the United Nations globally harmonized system (UN GHS) for classification and labelling of chemicals into Europe. CLP came into force on 20 January 2009.

What are the obligations of EU manufacturers and importers of chemicals under CLP?

  • A manufacturer, importer or downstream user of chemical substances or mixtures to be placed on the market, must classify, label and package these substances or mixtures in accordance with CLP, independently of the actual tonnage manufactured, imported or placed on the market
  • Distributors (including retailers) of substances and mixtures need to label and package in accordance with CLP
  • Substances must be classified and labelled in accordance with CLP by 3 December, 2010, or December 2012 if already on the market (i.e. on-the-shelf products).  Mixtures must be classified and labelled in accordance with CLP by 1 June, 2015, or 1 June 2017 if already on the market(on-the-shelf)
  • Manufacturers and importers (or groups of manufacturers or importers) who place a hazardous substance on the market, will have to provide certain information, e.g. the substance identity and the classification and labelling of that substance to ECHA before 3 Jan 2011, unless this information has already been submitted as part of a registration under REACH. ECHA will then include the notified information in the Classification & Labelling Inventory

For complete guidance on how to:

  • classify substances and mixtures
  • submit CLP notification
  • label and package your products
  • prepare the latest safety data sheets

please contact NCEC

Make sure you submit C&L notifications before 3 Jan 2011.

Draft Guidance on the Completion of Safety Data Sheets has been released.

ECHA has released a draft version on guidance that will assist industry in determining the tasks and obligations which have to be undertaken to comply with the requirements under Article 31 of REACH and Annex II of REACH including an overview of elements required by Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 (CLP).

Detailed information has been provided in the guidance on what information, mandatory or optional, should and could be included in each of the 16 sections of the SDS. The document also provides many links to sources that could be useful for SDS writers and users. The draft guidance reflects the current update of Annex II of REACH and can be viewed here.

If you haven't already updated your safety data sheets to be REACH and GHS compliant, you need to do so. We use information on the ingredients of your products and their physical properties to carry out a hazard assessment on each product. It is then possible for our experts to classify your product and assess the impact of all European transport and supply legislation. We can then produce the safety data sheet for your product and provide language translations

If you want more information on this service, please contact us.

Transport Legislation

Draft changes for ADR 2011
The UN ECE Secretariat has put together a consolidated draft of the changes to Annexes A and B of the ADR Agreement due to take effect on January 1, 2011. The amendments will have to be confirmed at May's meeting of WP15 and there could be some last-minute alterations at the 89th session in October. However, the draft (which is 100 pages long) is worth looking at to see what changes are likely to come into effect next year. 

Changes include the adoption of the GHS classification criteria for environmentally hazardous materials. The English version is available here.

Transport of Dangerous Goods

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods in Northern Ireland brought up-to-date
The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 (SR 2010/160) was released on 19 May 2010. Because of the different enabling Acts, two statutory rules were required, so the earlier-made Carriage of Explosives Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 (SR 2010/59) is also available.

Two new Corrigenda released for ADR 2009
Two corrigenda to the English version of ADR 2009 have been published and are available on the UNECE website. Corrigendum 4 has some alterations to tunnel codes for certain products and a correction for P903a. It is also applicable to the French and Russian editions. Corrigendum 5 relates to radioactive substances.

Change of Tunnel code for Heathrow
Heathrow Airport is advising users of the tunnel codes applicable to the tunnel connecting the M4 spur with Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Between 0400 and 2300, the tunnel will be assigned to Category E; outside those times it will be the less restrictive Category C. These restrictions came into effect on 31 March 2010.

Are you confused about your obligations regarding tunnel codes? Contact NCEC for more information.

Aligning the transport classification criteria for corrosives with GHS

The Working Group on dangerous goods have come together to find a solution for aligning the classification criteria for corrosive substances being transported with GHS. The group concluded that there was no need to reproduce the full GHS text in the UN Model Regulations but that emphasis should be placed to underline the correlation between transport packing groups and GHS sub-categories for corrosivity. A draft proposal will be available in due course.

REACH legislation

The first phase-in deadline for REACH registration is fast approaching (1 December 2010)
All potential registrants are reminded that the 1 December 2010 registration deadline not only applies to substances manufactured or imported at 1,000 tonnes per year or more, but also to substances with certain dangerous properties. If substances are classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (category 1 or 2) and are manufactured or imported at 1 tonne per year or more, or at 100 tonnes per year or more and classified as very toxic to aquatic organisms which may cause long term adverse effects in the aquatic environment (R50/53), registration will be required before this deadline.

ECHA has published six Practical Guides to help registrants meet their information requirements for REACH registration.
The Practical Guides provide registrants with comprehensive and in-depth advice on preparing their registration dossiers using IUCLID 5. They also cover the options for the adaptation of information requirements and include the reporting practice for alternative (e.g. non-animal) testing methods.

The six Practical Guides are:

  1. How to report in vitro data: Explains the circumstances in which in vitro data can be used for REACH registration purposes as well as how to report the data in IUCLID 5
  2. How to report Robust Study Summaries: Covers the Robust Study Summaries (RSS) that need to be included in the technical dossier in IUCLID 5 for all relevant endpoints. It provides templates which demonstrate the necessary level of detail when drafting RSSs for the different endpoints
  3. How to report Weight of Evidence: Introduces the Weight of Evidence concept and provides a practical step-by-step illustration on how to prepare and report a weight of evidence approach in IUCLID 5
  4. How to report waiving: Explains the possible options for adapting (or waiving) of information requirements and provides practical examples on optimal reporting methods in IUCLID 5
  5. How to report (Q)SARs: Provides an overview of the most important aspects when predicting properties of substances using (Q)SAR models as defined in REACH. It also gives practical examples of how to report (Q)SAR predictions in IUCLID 5. When industry wishes to build categories of substances, they may use (Q)SAR Application Toolbox. More details can be found here
  6. How to report read-across and categories: Provides an overview of the most important practical points to be taken into account when developing and reporting read across and chemical categories in IUCLID 5

An addition to the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern
ECHA has added acrylamide to the Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) for authorisation under REACH. Companies that manufacture or import acrylamide are advised to check on the potential obligations arising from the listing.

Can you minimise animal testing?
The UK REACH competent Authority have produced a leaflet summarising the opportunities that are available to registrants to minimise animal testing. Such methods include read-across, in vitro test methods and (Q)SARs.

Further guidance is available on the ECHA website, or contact NCEC for further information.

Annex II of REACH currently under review
On 9 December 2009, a draft Commission Regulation amending Annex II was agreed between member States. It is the understanding of the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) that the regulation is most likely to be adopted and published in the Official Journal in May at the latest, with the entry into force expected in June.

Is your REACH Dossier technically complete?
ECHA has released the first version of a long awaited Technical Completeness Check (TCC) tool to give companies the opportunity to check the completeness of their registration dossiers before submission to the Agency. You can download this tool from the IUCLID website.

New Version of IUCLID now available
On 15 February 2010 the new version of IUCLID 5, IUCLID 5.2, was made available. Companies are encouraged to consult the IUCLID 5 and ECHA websites for further detailed information on this new version.

If you do require further guidance, please contact NCEC.

Public consultations now open on the ECHA Website
Public consultations for the harmonisation and labelling for Acequinocyl, Metazachlor, Tris(nonylphenyl)phosphite and Bifenthrin are now available here.

For guidance on submitting comments on any of the chemicals involved in the public consultation, please contact NCEC.

Other legislation news

The 3rd revised edition of the GHS Purple Book is now available to download as PDFs

Visit the UNECE website to download the pdfs

Revised Cosmetics Regulation has now been published
The new EU Regulation on Cosmetic products has been published in the official Journal replacing the 1976 Directive. The Regulation has brought:

  • Tighter controls on the use of carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction (CMR) materials
  • New requirements for nanomaterial users and suppliers with a need to label nanomaterials used in cosmetics

The new CMR controls will apply from December 2010 whereas the requirement to notify the Commission is by January 2013.

Access to the Toxic Substances Control Act to be free of charge
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced it will provide web access free of charge to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Substance Inventory in a bid to boost transparency.

The TSCA inventory available is the public version of the database which is said to contain 84,000 chemicals manufactured, used or imported in the United States. Please note that the EPA is not able to publicly identify almost 17,000 of these chemicals because manufacturers have claimed them as confidential business information under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Access to the full TSCA Inventory, including downloads can be found here.

Consultation on the implementation of EU pesticides legislation
This consultation is being carried out by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of HSE on behalf of Defra. It concerns the approach to be taken in implementing a Directive on the Sustainable use of Pesticides (Directive 2009/128/EC) and two provisions in a Regulation on Plant Protection Product Authorisations (Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009) which may need to be implemented by domestic legislation. It also seeks views on the case for developing new charging arrangements using powers in the European legislation on pesticides.

Consultation began on 9 February 2010 and ended on 4 May 2010.  More information can be found here.

Recycling of Nanoparticles investigated
Professor Julian Eastoe and his team at the University of Bristol have recently reported the development of a unique type of microemulsion that may aid in the recycling, recovery and reuse of nanoparticles.

The team in Bristol have discovered that when using this microemulsion - a mixture of oil and water - the recovered particles retain their shape and all chemical properties which are crucial requirements for their reuse. Julian Eastoe reported that the newly designed kind of solvent is much milder on nanoparticles than traditional methods, therefore preserving structure, stability and permitting recyclability.

In laboratory tests using cadmium and zinc nanoparticles, they demonstrate how the oil and water in the micro emulsion separated into two layers when heated. One layer contained the nanoparticles that could be recovered and the other contained none.

This simple process may potentially find applications in cleanup and purification technologies in order to recover, re-disperse and re-use valuable nanomaterials.

Does your company work with lead paint?
HSE has issued a reminder on the dangers of exposure to lead paint in the workplace after two workers were admitted to hospital with acute lead poisoning.

When lead and its compounds are used they can create dust, fumes or vapour. The lead can then be absorbed into the body through inhalation and/or ingestion.

For further information on the hazards of lead and guidance on the risks and management of lead exposures, click here.

Biocidal Products (Amendment) Regulations 2010 Published
The Biocidal Products (Amendment) Regulations 2010 have been published and came into force on 6 April 2010.

Amendments were required to include changes made to the Biocidal Products Directive which extend the transitional deadline from 14 May 2010 to 14 May 2014. The amendments will allow biocidal products containing active substances that were on the market in the EU on 14 May 2000 (and are being supported for review), to remain on the market while the European Commission completes its ongoing reviews of the active substances in those products.

The amended regulation can be found here.


Are you aware of your requirements for the first GHS/CLP deadline?
By the end of 2010 it will be a requirement for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for pure substances to be GHS/CLP compliant.

In recognition of this NCEC is here to help your business and your downstream users in two ways, namely:

  • SDS reviewing and authoring. NCEC has a team of highly skilled and experienced chemists who are able to both review and re-author your SDSs to ensure that they are compliant with GHS/CLP
  • Chemical safety document management. Regulatory bodies, such as the UK's Health and Safety Executive, are paying increasing levels of attention to chemical safety compliance. For a typical business this will involve audit trails of information around SDSs, COSHH/chemical risk assessments, training records, occupational health records etc

ChemeDox® (chemical safety documentation management system) has been developed in response to the need for businesses to ensure they are fully compliant. Additional modules are available dependant on your practical and compliance requirements; for example, there is a COSHH module and a SDS distribution module.The SDS distribution module was developed to ensure best practice in terms of compliance with REACH for the provision of SDSs - where the key point is about 'provision' as opposed to 'making available', for example via a website.

ChemeDox screenshot

The user interface (see above image) has also been upgraded to include the option of indexing, storing and searching for GHS/CLP compliant SDSs.  As part of this, we are also looking into a customisable facility to enable users to produce GHS/CLP labels. If this would be of use to your organisation then please let us know.please let us know.

To find out more, or to arrange for a ChemeDox® product demonstration contact us.


Firms could cut costs by outsourcing regulatory compliance – the evidence

Is it realistic to imagine that companies could cut costs by outsourcing regulatory compliance?  The answer is a resounding yes.

Small and medium enterprises on occasion have limited capability to comply with ever-growing regulatory requirements, as their priority is to maximise profits at a time of increased economic stress.

One option is transform this fixed cost by outsourcing regulatory consultancy.  This can provide SMEs with a wider range of services than those available in house from Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) implementation to supply chain assessment. 

Compliance2business, a specialist in this sector, recently helped a small manufacturer of rubber additives identifying their needs on phase2 of REACH compliance. Following their assessment and implementation of the proposal the company in question was able to save around 20,000 EUR/year.  Even after the initial consultancy costs were deducted this represented significant annual savings.

Typical beneficiaries of these services are:

  • EU small and medium enterprises in the chemical and related sectors, usually with limited staff and principally focused on their core activities with scarce time to deeply monitor and react to regulatory developments
  • Medium enterprises in chemical, food and feed sector located outside Europe, with partial or superficial knowledge of EU legislations
  • Downstream users and retailer interested in deeper investigation of their upstream supply chain compliance
  • Large chemical companies which may have specific Product Compliance needs in a given niche

(article submitted by Stefano Colicchia of Compliance2business)

For additional information on this service please contact us.


Bill in ChinaNCEC deliver training to Chinese Fire Services and Government Ministries

NCEC's Head of Emergency Response, Bill Atkinson, has returned from China where he organised and helped to deliver three separate training courses for the Chinese Fire Services and government ministries. 

The courses were designed to share UK experiences in how we prepare for civil contingencies, the legislative framework for the transport of dangerous goods and how environmental protection is now an intrinsic part of incident response when dealing with hazardous materials. The training team comprised Bill, Brian Dillon, a retired police officer and emergency planning expert, and David Hanlon, a retired firefighter most recently with Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

After separate training to the Environment Ministry, chemical industry and the Safety Administration, the last of the three courses was a 5-day training programme delivered to senior fire officers who had travelled from every province of China especially for the course. The emphasis was on highlighting measures that the fire service can take to prevent or mitigate pollution incidents, showcasing the partnership approach adopted between the fire services and the environmental agencies here in the UK. The visit was funded by Defra as part of the sustainable development dialogue signed between the UK and China governments in 2005.

SHE 2010Safety & Health Expo, NEC, Birmingham (11-13 May)
ChemeDox® was creating quite a stir at this year's Safety and Health Expo.

ChemeDox® (chemical safety document management system) was developed in response to the need for businesses to ensure they are fully compliant. Additional modules are available dependant on your practical and compliance requirements; for example, there is a COSHH module and a SDS distribution module.. The SDS distribution module was developed to ensure best practice in terms of compliance with REACH for the provision of SDSs where the key point is about 'provision' as opposed to 'making available', for example via a website

We also demonstrated our popular Pocket Chemdata® software.

We had overwhelmingly positive feedback when demonstrating ChemeDox® and Chemdata®, but if you haven't seen these products and would like to do so, please contact us.



Phosphorus grenades found in residential area
NCEC recently received an interesting call regarding a cache of WWII phosphorus smoke grenades (some of which were cracked) dug up at a residential address. Both the fire service and bomb disposal squad attended the incident but called NCEC for more specific chemical advice. Advice was given on chemical hazards arising from detonating all the grenades together, versus detonation of smaller batches, along with advice on cordon distances required. NCEC Emergency Responders made the attending staff aware that the white phosphorus and phosphorus sulphide would evolve toxic phosphine and flammable hydrogen gas. Further to this, detonating the grenades would release phosphorus oxides, phosphorus sulphide, hydrogen sulphide and sulphur oxides.

With this in mind the current cordon of 50m was sensible but would have had to be reviewed if there were further releases. It was explained that the total amount of fumes released would be the same for either plan but setting them off together would produce a higher concentration initially, which would dissipate quickly, or setting them off in batches would produce a lower concentration over a longer time frame.

The fire service also wanted our opinion on the military's proposal to crack the grenades open once submerged in a water-filled skip (in order to control the release of fumes). NCEC's Emergency Responders conducted research on the matter, as well as consulting the military scientific adviser at Porton Down. Once in possession of all the facts, we advised that phosphine would only be released if the water had low oxygen content, but that toxic hydrogen sulphide gas and corrosive phosphoric acid vapour would still be given off due to the violent reaction of the grenade contents.  Further, the metal of the skip would be attacked by the resulting acid, evolving hydrogen gas.

NCEC were able to establish a link to a Carechem client, who agreed with the submergence plan. They were also able to provide advice on controlling the pH, saying that it should be kept above 7, otherwise the metal would be attacked quite quickly. They were also able to provide the necessary materials to do this (soda ash, i.e. sodium carbonate). NCEC informed the HPA of the incident on behalf of the fire service and discussed with them the options for dealing with the incident.


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:

Hazmat 1st Response dates

Thursday 23 September 2010  - Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire
Tuesday 15 March 2011 - Venue TBC

For more information on our full range of training courses contact or call +44 (0) 1235 75 3654.