November 2011

Welcome to the November issue of the NCEC newsletter.

We have some exciting news for our Chemdata® and Pocket Chemdata customers - Pocket Chemdata for AndroidTM is nearly ready for release and we will be unveiling it at the Emergency Services Show later this month. Keep watching our website and our Twitter feed for updates.

This issue features the second of our ˜NCEC in Action" articles illustrating the diverse range of work we do. In this case we present our collaboration with the Hazchem Network. This pioneering initiative, involving 40 independent hauliers, ensures the safe transport of palletised dangerous goods across the UK.
We also highlight some forthcoming changes in China's laws that could affect you if you export to, or move dangerous goods within, China.

In addition, we would like to highlight our reduced prices of our training courses. If you or your employees would benefit from training, now is the time to book!
Would you like to join NCEC? We are looking for someone to join our team at Harwell as a Regulatory Affairs Consultant - see the People News section for more information.

Finally, if there is anything that you would like to see in future newsletters, please let us know. We are always happy to receive suggestions and feedback - you can contact us by emailing or calling +44 (0) 1235 75 3654.
Happy reading!

Bill Atkinson

Emergency Response Knowledge Leader


Follow ncec_uk on Twitter


Pocket Chemdata for Android
As announced in our last newsletter, we are about to launch Pocket Chemdata® for Android. Our developers have been very busy and we will be demonstrating the new version at the Emergency Services Show at Stoneleigh Park on the 23 and 24 November. This version has been designed to run on smartphones and tablet devices and a number of fire services have already shown an interest. It is easier and quicker to install than the previous Windows® Mobile version. We believe it will become an invaluable tool for Hazmat Officers. We expect to have a 14-day free trial version available via the Android Marketplace ready in time for the Show  - an announcement will be made via our website as soon as it is available.












Android is a trademark of Google Inc.
Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.


The Hazchem Network was formed in 2004 and is the only pallet network dedicated to chemicals, offering distribution of UN class 2, 3, 4, 5.1, 5.2 (selected), 6.1, 8 and 9 through a collaboration of 40 independent hauliers. The Hub, a 56,000 sq. ft. dedicated facility in Rugby, Warwickshire, handles around 1,000 pallets per night with an outstanding 99.9% on time in full record.
The Hazchem Network is supported by the Hazchem Emergency Response Service (HERS), a joint project between a number of industry partners, and the NCEC which provides the specialist chemical advice and manages the initial stages of the incident. Hazchem Network vehicles carry a specially developed Hazchem placard that displays the emergency number that connects directly to the chemists at the NCEC who provide unrivalled advice.

HERS was put to the test when a lorry transporting 26 tonnes, including 2 tonnes of dangerous goods, overturned on the A4500 dual carriageway near Northampton in the early hours, shedding its load and closing all four lanes. Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service (FRS) was first on scene and notified the NCEC of the incident. The duty Emergency Responder, Tabitha Petchey, provided advice on the hazards of the chemicals identified, suitable personal protective equipment (in this case gas-tight chemical resistant suits with breathing apparatus), likely reactions and their products, and spill remediation. The dangerous goods on board were a mixture of flammable, oxidising and environmentally hazardous materials that presented a significant fire risk.

The duty Emergency Responder liaised with Ali Karim, Managing Director of the Hazchem Network, throughout and notified Braemar Howells which immediately dispatched a clean-up team to the incident. Northamptonshire FRS was given regular updates, as was the Police-contracted vehicle recovery company. The driver of the lorry sustained only minor injuries and the incident was resolved with calm professionalism.

"Carechem 24, like all the services provided by the National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC) at Harwell, is a robust solution for people working with dangerous goods, be they consignors, consignees, transport and warehousing operations and whether they use road, rail, air or sea traffic. With the continual changes occurring in legislation, as well as enhanced security and environmental concerns, you need to be supported by credible and internationally recognised technical specialists. NCEC is such an organisation, and Carechem 24, in my opinion, is the premier support service for those in the sector. I have used NCEC services throughout my career at Gas and Equipment Ltd, Linde Gas UK Ltd and Interoute Transport Services. Their technical support is critical in managing The Hazchem Network operation - the UK's only specialist pallet-network for the carriage of palletised dangerous goods".
Ali Karim FRSC CChem, Managing Director, Hazchem Network Ltd


Draft New Laws in China Regarding Hazardous Chemicals

The State Administration for Work Safety (SAWS) in China has released two new draft laws regarding hazardous chemicals for public consultation, updating the Regulations on Safe Management of Hazardous Chemicals in China released in March 2011. These laws affect anyone exporting chemicals to China or manufacturing chemicals within China.

The first of these laws - the revised Measures for the Administration and Registration of Hazardous Chemicals requires manufacturers (except for products manufactured outside of China) and importers to register chemicals listed in the Catalogue of Hazardous Chemicals prior to their manufacture or importation into China for the first time. They are registered with the National Registration Center of Chemicals (NRCC), which is managed by SAWS. A registration certificate has to be obtained which is valid for 3 years and has to be renewed 3 months prior to the certificate's expiry date. In addition, manufacturers also have to submit a registration to the environment protection authorities.

As part of this registration process, the emergency response telephone number for the product is checked by NRCC. The new law also lays down additional requirements of the emergency response provider, such as:

- Having a Chinese domestic 'fixed-line' number dedicated to providing emergency response

- Having a fixed office space with 24-hour manning by professionals familiar with the hazardous properties of the company's chemicals and emergency response techniques and who can answer questions and provide advice
- Having a database of hazardous chemicals and emergency response advice

We believe that our world leading service Carechem 24, recognised as the 'gold standard' of Emergency Response meets these requirements. We are currently in discussions with the Chinese authorities over the new law, and the deadline for comments in the consultation is the 18th November 2011 with the new laws expected to be entered into force on the 1st December 2011.

Further details on the laws and to formulate a response can be found here (in Chinese)


Update in Medical Toxicology

Dr Sarah Bull, NCEC's Toxicology Consultant, attended the Update in Medical Toxicology event in Cardiff from Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 November. The event was organised and run by the Cardiff branch of the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) and covered a wide range of topics, including management of the poisoned patient an emergency department (ED), methanols and glycols, poisoning in paediatrics and in pregnancy, and many others. The lectures were given by medics from NPIS centres across the country, as well as lecturers from other hospitals.


Ian GoodyearIan Goodyer, Emergency Response Consultant
Ian originally worked at the NCEC in 2006/07 during his degree sandwich year and now joins the consultancy team as a permanent member. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in Emergency & Disaster Management from Coventry University in 2008. Following graduation, he was employed as a disaster management consultant with the Government of Anguilla in the Caribbean.

On his return from Anguilla, he took a position, as an emergency planning officer in a local authority. In this position Ian worked on a number of high profile projects including contingency planning for a number of large public air displays and the 2012 Olympic sailing events.

Along with general emergency planning and response, Ian can consult on some specialist areas including flooding, mass fatalities/temporary mortuaries, major events (specifically evacuation) and business continuity management.

Mark GreenMark Green, Emergency Responder
Congratulations to Mark, who passed the two-part Emergency Responder test in October and now joins the full-time rota, after three months of (ER) intense training in incident management, first aid, chemical and environmental regulations, commercial awareness, and taking calls under supervision. The ER test is your guarantee of quality emergency response.

Dan HaggartyDan Haggarty, Director of NCEC

Dan was recently promoted to Director of NCEC and will be taking on the task of continuing to develop and integrate our service offers in response to the complex requirements of our broad customer base. He reaches this position within 5 years of joining NCEC as a junior consultant and can highly recommend the career opportunities afforded by the NCEC... for more about this, see below!



Job Opportunity - Come and Join us at NCEC

We are looking for someone to join the NCEC team at Harwell, as a Regulatory Affairs Consultant - if you are highly motivated, dynamic and flexible, this could be the position for you.

The ideal candidate for this role will have a scientific, technical or engineering degree (or other qualification(s) along with relevant industrial experience) coupled with excellent communication and customer service skills, and will also be well versed in hazard classification systems and current legislation.

We offer a competitive remuneration package and excellent benefits, so to apply, go to and click on UK - Oxford, then Search. If you would like information on other job opportunities with AEA, please visit our careers page.


Exercise Argon Shield, Bristol
NCEC is available to help the emergency services in the planning and execution of training exercises involving hazardous materials. Recently, we received a call from the Avon Fire & Rescue Service which was running Exercise Argon Shield in Bristol city centre.
The exercise was a CBRN mass casualty incident with volunteers from Amputees in Action. Casualties were experiencing breathing difficulties and watering eyes following an explosion that released white gas. Our Emergency Responder helped the Hazardous Materials and Environmental Protection Officer (HMEPO) identify likely causes, based on the results from the Detection Identification and Monitoring (DIM) equipment, and provided appropriate hazard advice.

Realistic simulations provide excellent training opportunities and ensure that personnel are familiar with specialist equipment and the advice available from our Emergency Responders. 

Major Warehouse Fire
NCEC recently received a call from a firefighter in relation to a warehouse fire involving a number of propane and acetylene cylinders, and 300-400 litres of hydrogen peroxide. The warehouse was well ablaze and producing thick black smoke. A 200-metre isolation zone had been established downwind.

Our Emergency Responder explained that hydrogen peroxide is an oxidiser and will cause the fire to burn more fiercely. He advised the caller to extend the 200-metre isolation zone to all sides of the blaze due to the presence of acetylene cylinders and suggested that local residents be advised to stay indoors with windows and doors closed. The Emergency Responder advised the caller to contact CHEMET for plume modelling and to notify the Health Protection Agency. The fire hospitalised eight people, four were seriously ill, including one who was taken by Air Ambulance to a London hospital.

Immediate access to NCEC's dedicated chemists ensures that the most appropriate actions and suitable precautions are taken. Our Emergency Responders are remote from the fire ground and not actively involved with the incident. Therefore, they are able to provide objective advice, taking all aspects of the required response into account.

Agrochemicals Cause Breathing Difficulties
NCEC recently received a call from a firefighter at an industrial estate where 11 people were complaining of breathing difficulties and dizziness. The Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) was in attendance and required information about the respiratory effects of the chemicals involved.

Our Emergency Responder identified the products causing the symptoms as agricultural pesticides and herbicides, and gave hazard and first-aid advice as appropriate. He provided the details of the active ingredients and advised that further medical advice would be available from the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS). Only three people were sent to hospital for observation, the remainder were treated on scene.
Immediate access to the chemical hazards of products and appropriate first-aid advice enables the ambulance service to provide effective treatment sooner, prevents worsening of the casualty's condition and reduces the strain on hospital A&E departments.



Hazmat 2012 Update – Early bird offer ends 20 December 2011!

6 to 7 March 2012 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Birmingham

The registration form is now available on our website. If you book before 20 December, you will qualify for our Early Bird offer and can save £75 per delegate, so do take advantage of this! Thank you if you have already expressed an interest in attending. You should have received a registration form by email. If you haven't yet received your registration form, you can either download it from our website or contact us.

If you have been meaning to contact us about presenting, but not yet got around to it, please do get in touch. We still have a few spaces for speakers, particularly for anyone with information on response training, advances in response equipment and/or techniques, and preparation for major events or incidents, such as next year's Olympics. You can contact us directly or via the form on our website.

Hazmat 2012

Emergency Services Show and Conference 2011

23 to 24 November, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry

From international incidents to natural disasters, unprecedented events have taken place around the world over the past year. The Emergency Services Show and Conference 2011 remains the key event for anyone involved in emergency planning, response or recovery, both in the UK and abroad, to unite and address these threats and challenges.

Now in its sixth year, this firmly established show allows a key gathering of emergency and resilience professionals to discuss multi-agency collaboration, best practice, ideas and initiatives.
A wide variety of professional, Government and voluntary response organisations and personnel will be at Stoneleigh Park to learn about the latest equipment and innovations, network and listen to industry experts. Attendees will also be able to explore how they can make vital cost savings with equipment and service suppliers.

This year, as well as promoting our activities with the Chemsafe Scheme, we will be launching Pocket Chemdata for Android and demonstrating it on smartphones and a tablet device.

We will be on stand E65.

Android is a trademark of Google Inc.


Emergency Services Show


Chemspec Europe

13 to 14 June 2012, Barcelona, Spain

Unfortunately, Chemspec Middle East, which had been planned for 29 to 30 November 2011, has been postponed indefinitely. We will instead, be exhibiting at Chemspec Europe, Barcelona will host the 27th Chemspec Europe, which will see over 400 exhibiting companies from around the globe and over 5,000 attendees are expected.

Still unrivalled as Europe's only dedicated fine and speciality chemicals event, chemspec Europe is focused on providing its attendees access to, and networking opportunities with, blue chip and small or medium enterprise (SME) suppliers from around the globe.

Chemspec Europe


TRAINING - Health and Safety now costs less - new lower prices!

Chemical Spill Response
13 March 2012 - Gemini Building, Harwell

Chemical Spill Response is a one-day training course presented by one of NCEC's highly experienced Emergency Responders. It is aimed at those working in a chemical environment who are setting up, or already have, a Spill Response team in their workplace.

Cost: £265 + VAT

Hazmat 1st Response
15 March 2012 - Gemini Building, Harwell

A one-day training course to prepare you and your organisation for dealing with a chemical incident. The course provides practical and up-to-date information on what is expected of you during a hazmat incident.
Cost: £235 + VAT

For more information about our training courses, please visit our website. To book a place or ask about our tailored and in-house courses, please contact us.

[end of newsletter]



- Pocket Chemdata for Android


- Draft New Law in China on Hazardous Chemicals


- Update in Medical Toxicology


- Welcome to Ian Goodyer
- Congratulations to Mark Green
- New Director of NCEC
- Job Opportunity


- Exercise Argon Shield, Bristol
- Major Warehouse Fire
- Agrochemicals Cause Breathing Difficulties


- Events

- Training