Despite the warnings on labels, incidents involving chemical products still occur both at home and in the workplace. The Belgian Poison Centre is available by telephone 24 hours a day, on the free number 070 245 245, to advise what to do in case of acute poisoning. Around half of the calls they receive relate to medicines, a quarter to chemical products, 6% to cosmetics, 5% to phytosanitary products and 4% to plants, animals and food.
It is obviously essential that the correct information is passed quickly from the chemicals sector to the Belgian Poison Centre. In 2016, 7,966 compositions were notified and 1,147 voluntary notifications were made.
Each time a chemical product is brought onto the Belgian market, the companies involved notify the Belgian Poison Centre of any hazardous characteristics. They do this, at the latest, 48 hours before the product reaches the market. This is a legal obligation that applies to mixtures with hazardous physical and health effects, pesticides and biocides. essenscia calls on its members to continue notifying voluntarily all mixtures which are hazardous for the environment and non-classified mixtures containing hazardous substances destined for consumers.
essenscia also cooperates with the Poison Centre on information campaigns on safe use of household and DIY chemicals.