Poison Information Centers: EU Harmonizes Product-Notification and Transfer Formats

According to Article 45 of the CLP Regulation, manufacturers, market launchers, and distributors must notify the appropriate national agencies of the formulations and contents of hazardous chemical mixtures, including laundry and cleaning supplies. They must also provide the data to poison information centers so that the centers can provide specific advice quickly in the event of an accident. Up to now, each country has had a different notification procedure. As a result, companies that operate in multiple EU countries face higher costs because they have to format the same information multiple times to meet the requirements of each country.

And that’s why the EU wants to implement a uniform solution for all its member states. Authorities estimate that such a solution would save manufacturers and importers a total of €550 million Euros and strengthen consumer protection. The CLP Regulation is now being amended (see the draft) to revise Annex VIII. The revision will take effect on January 1, 2020 and initially apply to hazardous mixtures intended for consumer use. As of January 1, 2021, it will apply to commercial hazardous mixtures; as of January 1, 2014, it will apply to hazardous mixtures intended for industrial use.

Each country determines its receiving body for product information. The EU offers a contact list for all European countries on its Web site. In Germany, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung: BfR) fulfills this role; it stores all product data in a poison information database. When an emergency occurs, the responding doctors in a poison information center can access the data and inform on-site first responders about the necessary countermeasures.

The exact changes involved in the harmonization are listed in Annex VIII (see above) of the CLP Regulation. For example, labels or containers will have to display a unique formula identifier (UFI), an alphanumeric code that enables unambiguous identification of products. The ECHA provides additional information (new data format, tools, guidelines) on its Web site.

For comprehensive information about this topic, consider the Seventh Annual BfR User Conference on Product Notifications on November 15 in the auditorium in Berlin-Marienfelde.

At KFT, we offer companies an emergency number service through our partners Chemtrec and Giftinformationszentrum Nord (GIZ). We would be pleased to provide you with personal information about the details of the service. Please contact us under sds@kft.de.

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