NCEC Newsletter December 2017

Welcome to the March edition of the NCEC newsletter. 

It is now less than 100 days until both the GDPR regulation and REACH registration deadline. It is also less than 100 days until the ultimate forum for hazmat specialists – Hazmat 2018, and we have just released the draft programme.  You can find out more below.

This month we're also highlighting the poison centre notification deadline in France for businesses without an RGS** certificate; the update to the poison centre portal; outlining the changes to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations 59th Edition as well as discussing the recent Tide pod craze.

I hope you enjoy reading our newsletter and if there is anything you would like us to feature in future issues, then please feel free to contact me.

Kind regards

Dan Haggarty

Head of Emergency Response
The National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC)

Breaking News: France sets poison centre notification deadline for businesses without RGS** certificate

Iata amendments

The National Research and Safety Institute for the Prevention of Occupational Accidents and Diseases (INRS – France) has announced that, as of the 01 January 2018, it will only accept notifications to poison centres in France submitted by organisations that have been granted a valid RGS** certificate and which notify through the ‘Declaration Synapse’ web-portal.  

Read the full announcement

ECHA releases update on feasibility study into one-stop poison centre notification portal

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has voted to create an opt-in poison centre notification portal, which could harmonise how some EU Member States accept notifications to poison centres.

The portal, which is predicted to have a development cost of €4.2 million, would have phased introduction with a final revision potentially released in 2020.

Find out more about the portal

Understand your REACH obligations

There are less than 100 days until the final REACH registration deadline.

By 31st May 2018, all companies manufacturing or importing chemical substances into the European Union in quantities over one tonne per annum must register with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

Organisations that fail to comply with REACH risk being excluded from trading within the EU, which would have a huge detrimental impact on business operations but its not too late to act.

Do you:

  • Fully understand your obligations?
  • Need help with registrations?
  • Require a third party to act as your REACH Only representative?

NCEC’s REACH services.

If you need to register a substance, we can support with specific tasks or manage the entire process for you. We can offer:

  • Only Representative support for non-EU companies.
  • Third Party Representation to reduce risk and support compliance.
  • Bespoke advice and guidance for those who just need a helping hand.
  • A comprehensive range of REACH services such as SDS authoring and management, CLP notifications and Poison Centre notifications.

Get in touch today

IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations 59th Edition

The latest edition (59 th) of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and its addendum introduce yet more changes to the requirements for the transportation of dangerous goods. Caroline Raine, NCEC’s chemical legislation expert, outlines some of these changes.

Find out about the changes

Dangers of the latest internet challenge


The need to surpass previous internet challenges always had the potential to reach dangerous heights. It seems with the latest craze, it has now done so. The ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ has been sweeping the internet, encouraging people to chew or swallow a capsule of liquid detergent (Tide pod) that are designed to be a single measure for use in a washing machine.

Read more

Financial Times recognises Ricardo Energy & Environment as leader in sustainability


Ricardo Energy & Environment, part of global engineering company Ricardo, has been acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading management consultants for 2018 by the Financial Times . The rating reinforces the company’s position as a leading consultancy in the environment and sustainability arena.  

Find out more

Raising vital funds for Berkshire Women's Aid

In January, NCEC and Ricardo Energy & Environment staff took part in a (slightly) delayed 5k Santa Sprint to raise valuable funds for Berkshire Women's Aid (BWA), a charity local to our Head Office in Harwell, UK. We raised a grand total of £340.65 in entry fees and further donations.

BWA carries out essential work providing support and advice to women and victims of domestic abuse in the Berkshire area.

Visit the BWA website

Less that 100 days until GDPR comes into effect


On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect. It replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy.

What is NCEC doing to ensure it complies with GDPR?

‘We are continuing to evaluate our current level of compliance with the new regulation and are in the process of making changes to processes and procedures where required. In addition, we are looking at the training requirements of our staff, and will have appropriate awareness in our organisation as well as necessary controls in place by the time the new regulation comes into force in May. We will shortly be updating our privacy statements explaining how we use customer data and will begin contacting our database to confirm marketing preferences.’

Preparing for the worst – chemical resilience at airports and ports 

08 March 14:00PM GMT


In this webinar, our panel of experts will focus on resilience at airports and ports when dealing with dangerous goods shipments involving chemicals.

Our experts will discuss the systems, tools and knowledge that can be of benefit in preparation for and during any incident. It will also cover best practice on reporting incidents to stakeholders such as the shipper, consignee or consignor.

Register for this webinar to ensure you're prepared should an incident arise.

Register now

Poison centre notification


If you have mixtures with a health or physical effect classification on the market in the European Union, you must notify with the individual Member States poison centres. European Poison Centre legislation is a complex regulatory area with each Member State having their own implementation of article 45 of CLP - their poison centre legislation. 


Join us for two complimentary webinars:

Poison centre notification – the true cost of non-compliance: 13 March 2018 08:00AM GMT

Register now

Introduction to poison centres: 02 May 2018 09:00AM BST
Register now

Global legal requirements for emergency telephone numbers
webinar series


In this series of webinars, NCEC’s experts will provide a comprehensive overview of the latest updates concerning the global legal requirements for emergency telephone numbers so that you remain compliant and best prepared to deal with an incident when the worst happens. 

View on demand

Asia Pacific
View on demand

Central Asia: 28 March, 09:30AM GMT
Register now

Middle East & Africa: 26 April, 14.00PM BST
Register now

North and South America: 14 May, 16.00PM BST
Register now

Identifying a requirement for effective on-scene command during an incident

17 April 14:00PM GMT


In this webinar, NCEC Crisis Consultant, Chris Scott, who possesses a wealth of global experience, will discuss the role those who are first on the scene of an incident and are the person required to make an initial dynamic assessment of the situation.

He will discuss the skill sets involved and how to identify a suitable person as well as how to improve competency through bespoke and fit for purpose training and exercising.

Register for this webinar to further enhance your team's crisis knowledge.

Register now

Hazmat 2018

' The premier event of the year for hazmat professionals' returns to Stratford-upon-Avon's Crowne Plaza, 23-24 May 2018.

Now in its 11th year, Hazmat is an essential opportunity for Hazmat specialists to share experiences and knowledge with like-minded professionals working in the hazmat and chemical incident industry. The event draws upon the knowledge and experience of a range of hazmat professionals and industry leaders, as well as that of NCEC’s own emergency responders and experts.

The draft programme is now available for you to view.

Register now

Diary of events

Plastics Regulations
4-15 March, Cologne, Germany. 
More details

SITL Europe
20-23 March, Paris, France. 
More details

BADGP 2018 AGM & Annual Industry Seminar
22nd March, Northampton, UK.
More details

SCHC Spring 2018 Meeting
23-25 April, Florida, USA.
More details

22-24 May, Coventry, UK.
More details

The Emergency Services Show
19-20 September, Birmingham, UK.
More details

Accidental Injection of hazardous product

Car on fire

Our Emergency Responders (ERS) often receive first aid calls due to chemical exposures but the following incident was somewha different. A man was working with a high-pressure pipe when a pressure relief valve operated. This led to him being accidentally injected with a hazardous substance at a pressure of 14,000kPa (approximately 2,000psi) and resulted in him being taken to hospital.

We received a call from the surgeon who was about to operate on the casualty. He  explained that he required some in-depth medical advice regarding the product – information that is typically not available in safety documentation. His plan was to clean the wound using a saline solution, but he wanted to check if there was anything he should take into consideration before doing so. After asking if the casualty had any burns from the release and providing the product’s pH, our ER told the surgeon he would contact our client (the manufacturer of the product) and see what further information could be provided.

As a result, the surgeon was put in contact with our client’s doctor  who was able to provide further information regarding treatment. This enabled a rapid resolution to the incident because the surgeon was able to consult with other medical personnel before operating.

Mercury clean up


Mercury is well known for being a liquid at room temperature and its toxicity.

Recently, a fire and rescue service (FRS) crew was attending a property where a barometer had fallen from a wall and smashed, spilling mercury onto a tiled floor and some nearby carpet. Being aware of the short and long-term toxicity of mercury, the FRS control room contacted us on behalf of the crew for advice about the clean-up process and necessary precautions about dealing with mercury.

Our ER advised the caller that the attending crew would need to wear respirators with suitable mercury filters in addition to their usual turnout kit. We suggested that the tiled floor should be cleaned using card or plastic to collect any droplets of mercury, which should then be placed in a suitable container. However, we advised that it would not be possible to decontaminate the carpet and it would have to be disposed of appropriately, as would any other soft furnishings contaminated with the metal. After discussing the incident, the caller understood fully the crew’s next course of action and agreed to relay the information.

NCEC offers training for FRS hazardous materials and environmental protection advisers (HMEPAs), which helps them understand the hazards associated with mercury and prepares them for dealing with incidents such as this. They can then advise responding crews appropriately.

solutions, hydrochloric acid solutions, ammonia solutions and hexavalent chromium compounds. The FRS crew needed information about the hazards these chemicals presented in a fire situation.

Beer spillage on motorway


Just before Christmas, we were notified of a major spillage that resulted in the closure of two lanes of a motorway at this very busy time of year.

An articulated lorry carrying beer had been involved in a fire. During the incident, many bottles had broken and the contents were spilling onto the road. A member of the fire and rescue service crew attending the incident wanted to know if the beer could be washed down the drains and if there were any environmental risks they should be aware of.

There are several seemingly non-hazardous products, such as milk and beer, that have environmental risks. While these products may not kill fish and other aquatic animals directly, they can produce a toxic effect by increasing the nutrient supply in water. This increases the demand for oxygen in the water body, so denying it to other organisms. We relayed this information to the crew and said that the Environment Agency must be contacted as it is the only authority in England that  can approve washing potentially hazardous products into drains and  watercourses.

NCEC’s ER's are trained to recognise hazards that others might miss. Our close involvement with the UK emergency services means that we can direct callers to the appropriate resource if we are asked for advice beyond our remit.

Get in touch

If you would like any further information on the topics covered or have any questions on wider chemical emergency response, regulatory compliance matters as well as crisis management, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards

Dan Haggarty
Head of Emergency Response
The National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC)


Jonathan Gibbard

Practice Director

+44 (0) 1235 753654 Find Out More

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