EU regulation harmonising hazard and safety information for use by Poison Centres

Created on Friday, 30 June 2017

On 22 March 2017, the Commission adopted a Regulation on poison centres improving the availability of information needed in case of poisoning. It will harmonise the requirements for information shown on chemical products, enable better health protection for EU citizens and at the same time save EU businesses approximately €550 million annually.

In cases of accidental poisoning by hazardous chemical mixtures, citizens can call their national poison centre for an emergency health response. Poison centres base their response on the information provided by the chemicals' manufacturers. Today, each EU country has its own legal requirements defining such information. A chemicals producer selling products in several EU countries must provide information in many formats and to differing degrees of detail. This leads to a high administrative burden for industry. It can also result in an unequal level of emergency health response among EU citizens.

The Regulation will lead to producers and importers of chemical mixtures (such as detergents, paints and household chemicals) providing uniform information on the product composition. At the same time, emergency responders in all EU countries will have the same medical information available. This will allow improved services in some countries. Through a new uniform product identifier (UFI) poison centres will be able to exactly identify the product and its composition. Leading to a better and more adequate medical response. And reducing unnecessary over-treatment, which is often given to be on the safe side. The Regulation will apply to mixtures for consumer use as of 2020. It also targets mixtures for professional and industrial use, for which requirements apply as of 2021 and 2024, respectively. 

See the Commission Regulation