Poison centre notification

If you would like help with poison centre notification (PCN), contact us.

  • Online poison centre notification through the ECHA portal.
  • Offline poison centre notification through IUCLID 6 software.

1.     Legal provisions

In the UK, around 150 000 people were admitted to hospital with poisoning. Most poisonings occur at home, with children under 5 have the highest risk, but around 1 in 4 cases arise from intentional self-poisoning. There has been little systematic research into ingestion of hazardous substances used at work.

Industry must submit a Poison Centre Notification (PCN) on hazardous chemical products to a national Poison Centre to help with the treatment of poisonings. National Poison Centres are mandated for each EU Member States in the Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (CLP Regulation) [1], Article 45. The obligations for chemical companies, including format and data requirements, are given in Annex VIII of the CLP Regulation. The new EU-wide, harmonised scheme for PCNs will replace the current patchwork of national schemes.

PCN does not apply to mixtures for scientific research and development (SR&D) or product and process oriented research and development (PPORDs).

2.     Timetable

Importers and downstream users who market hazardous mixtures (excepting those only with environmental hazards), and not already notified already under national legislation, must make PCNs from the following dates:

  • Mixtures for consumer use: from 1 January 2021 (changed from 1 January 2020 by Regulation 2020/11 of 29 October 2019).
  • Mixtures for professional use: from 1 January 2021.
  • Mixtures for industrial use: from 1 January 2024.

If a national poison centre notification has been made, then the EU-harmonised PCN can be delayed until 1 January 2025. However, making an EU-harmonised PCN before the deadlines above does not automatically mean that the national PCN is not required.

3.     Information requirements

The information requirements are extensive:

  • Unique formula identifier (UFI), a unique alphanumeric code. A UFI generator is available on the ECHA website [2], and the UFI must be printed on product labels.
  • Product trade name.
  • Name, full address, telephone number and email address of the supplier.
  • Hazard classification (health and physical hazards) and labelling.
  • Toxicological effects from Section 11 of the safety data sheet.
  • Types and sizes of the packaging used for consumer or professional use.
  • Appearance (colour, physical state)
  • pH, where applicable
  • product categorisation and use pattern (consumer, professional, industrial, or a combination of these).

There are reduced requirements for industrial products where further information is available on an emergency number, as given in the safety data sheet Section 1.4.


References

[1] Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (as amended).

[2] Unique Formula Identifier Generator; https://ufi.echa.europa.eu/#/create