Ensuring chemical safety
Reliable and Quick Help in an Emergency
Time is running short when parents dial the number for the poison control center, because their child drank an unknown liquid or wet their skin with it. Every second counts when finding out whether the substances contained in a product may be harmful to health and then what measures need to be taken as quickly as possible. That is why every producer in Europe is required to keep safety data sheets on hazardous substance mixtures that, for example, irritate skin, are cancer-causing, toxic, corrosive, explosive or flammable, and to report certain data to poison control centers in the EU.
In the past, the Chemical Industry Association organized this procedure for chemical products sold in Germany. So that all poison control centers in in European Economic Area are always aware of the hazardous substance mixtures in circulation in their respective member states, the 27 member states agreed to commission the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to record and distribute data that is relevant for the poison control centers. ECHA set up a central database for this purpose where the poison control centers of the individual EU states can get the information they need.
Safety data sheets give industrial and commercial users information and notes about the composition of substances and mixtures of substances. They refer to possible dangers and precautionary measures for handling them, describe first aid measures and contain information about handling, storage, transport and disposal of the products. Röhm has currently over 10,000 data sheets in the SAP system that, if necessary, can be converted to country-based formats and languages. Regardless of the potential danger of the products, Röhm creates the 16-chapter safety data sheets for all of our products. Simply because customers ask for them.
The Product Stewardship team was just as well prepared for January 1, 2021. Using an add-on for SAP, the messages to ECHA were received in due time and the data that was already available for the safety data sheets could be used efficiently. From this reference data, every manufacturer is required to print a unique formula identifier (UFI) on the label of products containing a mixture of hazardous chemicals. This is a 16-digit alphanumeric code, which is also on file at the European poison control centers. In the future when employees of a European poison control center ask parents about the container their child handled, they can use this code to unequivocally decode the composition and provide help faster.