Blog

SetSize110140 HaggartyD
Daniel Haggarty

Why poisons centres are NOT a magic bullet...

04/02/2014

Under Article 45 of the European Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP) the telephone number of an officially appointed national advisory body must be displayed as an emergency number on safety data sheets (SDS) for each country in which the product is placed on the market. In plain English, where an official national poison centre exists, its number must be displayed on the relevant SDS.

It sounds simple, but in an informative blog post last year, NCEC’s Jon Gibbard drew attention to some of the many legal, practical and operational issues facing companies trying to comply with this legislation. Efforts are underway to create a harmonised network of poison centres and, if successful, we predict this will vastly reduce the compliance burden placed on industry.

However, the debate about poison centres rarely touches on another important point - the emergency support offered by poison centres is insufficient to deal with all types of emergency. REACH requires an emergency telephone number to be available and CLP requires the poison centre number to be shown, but how do these requirements cater for when a spillage, fire or reaction occurs?

A common response to this shortcoming by industry is to engage with multiple emergency response providers to support different elements of their needs. Poison centres for the provision of medical advice and an outsourced provider, such as NCEC, for other types of call. The problem here is that the scope of debate about harmonising poison centres is not wide enough. Even if European poison centres are harmonised, industry will still have to rely on multiple service providers to handle multiple types of emergency – the result being additional cost, risk and continued multiple SDS registrations.

One aim of the REACH regulation is to provide a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the use of chemicals*. Therefore, would it not be sensible for ECHA to set standards for what competencies are required from telephone emergency support to unify these elements of protection? A single, European-wide system for handling all types of chemical emergencies would reduce the burden on industry and reduce non-compliance. Such a centre would need to operate 24/7, have a wide range of technical competence and be able to handle emergency calls in multiple languages.

NCEC welcomes a wider debate about the role of the poison centre and of the emergency response provider in ensuring a safe chemical environment in Europe. We invite views on the matter via our survey in partnership with Chemical Watch: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/EUPoisoncentres (survey is open until 10 February 2014).

 

---------------------------------------------------------------

* http://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/whatisreach.htm

Past Blogs

RaineCaroline BW2
Caroline Raine, Principle Consultant

Final Annex VIII to CLP published

23/03/2017
RaineCaroline BW2
Caroline Raine, Principle Consultant

Final Annex VIII to CLP imminent

02/02/2017
WalkerStephen BW2
Stephen Walker, Senior Consultant

ADR 2017 - key changes

01/01/2017
shutterstock25
Pierre Noël, Safety Manager and Chief Elf at North Pole

A Compliance Christmas Carol

19/12/2016
SilverLarissa
Larissa Silver, Emergency Responder Supervisor and Chemical Regulatory Consulant

Tool for poison centres launched by EU Commission

17/11/2016
RaineCaroline
Caroline Raine, Principle Consultant

Lithium batteries - changes to IATA regulations

17/11/2016
RaineCaroline BW
Caroline Raine, Principle Consultant

Update to poison centre regulations

22/09/2016
LangJonathan BW
Jon Lang, Emergency Responder and Chemical Regulatory Consultant

Keeping your SDS updated and compliant

14/09/2016
HaggartyDBW
Dan Haggarty, Head of Emergency Response

What does best practice mean to industry?

22/05/2016
LangJonathan BW
Jon Lang, Emergency Responder and Chemical Regulatory Consultant

SDS Section 1.4 – what numbers are needed?

17/05/2016
WalkerStephen BW
Stephen Walker, Senior Consultant DGSA

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution

23/02/2016
paddedimage110161 SilverLarissa BW
Larissa Silver, Emergency Responder

European Commission’s new draft amendments review

15/02/2016
StearnMBW
Maria Stearn, Chemdata Manager

The value of proportionate advice

15/02/2016
shutterstock118893988
Pierre Noel, Safety Manager and Chief Elf at North Pole Inc.

NCEC Christmas Guest Blog

16/12/2015
paddedimage110161 SilverLarissa BW
Larissa Silver, Emergency Responder

Selling chemical products into France or Spain?

14/12/2015
DaveyR
Rich Davey, International Business Development Manager

Overcoming regulatory barriers: challenges in Asia

19/11/2015
VuTuan
Tuan Vu, Chemical Emergency Responder

The Tianjin Explosion

16/11/2015
GibbardJ
Jonathan Gibbard, NCEC Practice Director

10 days, 3 countries - NCEC tours South East Asia

25/09/2015
BakerTom
Tom Baker, Senior Emergency Responder

Update for Spanish poison centre

13/07/2015
BakerTom
Tom Baker, Senior Emergency Responder

The importance of emergency telephone response

22/03/2015
SetSize110140 Matthew Hawes National Chemical Emergency Centre
Matthew Hawes

On-scene emergency response

25/11/2014
Matthew Hawes National Chemical Emergency Centre
Matthew Hawes - Emergency Response Specialist

Don’t cry over spilled milk.....

04/09/2014
Matthew Hawes National Chemical Emergency Centre
Matthew Hawes - Emergency Response Specialist

Too small to matter.....

14/04/2014
SetSize110140 GibbardJ
Jon Gibbard

Problems with poison centres

20/12/2013
HaggartyD
Daniel Haggarty

Feature chemical – hydrogen sulfide

13/12/2013
GibbardJ
Jonathan Gibbard

NCEC - Celebrating Its Heritage...

15/11/2013
SetSize110140 HaggartyD
Daniel Haggarty

NCEC in action

25/10/2013
HawesM4
Matthew Hawes

The effect of fertilisers...

16/09/2013
HaggartyD7
Daniel Haggarty

Fee For Intervention (FFI)

06/08/2013
HawesM
Matthew Hawes

Multilateral Agreements and free trade

29/07/2013
HawesM2
Matthew Hawes

GHS and emergency response

12/07/2013
HaggartyD4
Daniel Haggarty

Lithium battery regulations

16/04/2013
HaggartyD3
Daniel Haggarty

Typical emergency calls

19/03/2013
HaggartyD2
Daniel Haggarty

Chemical incidents…then and now

12/02/2013
SetSize110140 HaggartyD
Daniel Haggarty

Has anyone seen MAIAT?

25/10/2012
HaggartyD
Daniel Haggarty

Emergency Responder Candidates

17/09/2012
HaggartyD6
Daniel Haggarty

Implications of OCRS

30/05/2012

Post your comment

Comments for this page have been disabled

Comments

No one has commented on this page yet.

RSS feed for comments on this page | RSS feed for all comments