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Research Project

Description of the natures of accidental misuse of chemicals and chemical products (DeNaMiC)


(This webpage presents an overview of the project. More detailled information for project members are presented elsewhere)

The research project DeNaMiC ran between 2007 and 2010 and has evaluated of use of poisons centres' data on chemical exposures of consumers for regulatory risk assessments.

Health Protection Agency, UK, was the leading project partner. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, (BfR) in Germany and the World Health Organization (IPCS) in Geneva are actively involved, as well as poisons centres in London, Göttingen, Lille, and Prague.

DeNaMiC is sponsored by the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC).



Detailled Project Outline:

There are gaps in current knowledge with respect to assessing risk and exposure scenarios following accidental poisonings and exposure to chemicals within household consumer products. There is a fundamental requirement to better understand the extent and nature of accidental poisoning and exposure which will inform policy makers and industry where to direct resources and determine where successful interventions and risk management measures could be employed. The work to be undertaken within the project ‘Description of the Nature of the Misuse of Chemicals (DeNaMiC)’ has been funded to improve current knowledge and identify gaps in this area. The outcomes of this research will improve the understanding about chemical exposures and build links from this understanding to define realistic information needed to constructively evaluate and improve risk assessment and risk management measures following poisoning by chemicals found in household consumer products.

Subcomponent 1: All partners involved in the project will be required to work to an agreed list of definitions of consumer products (i.e. toiletries, household chemical products and pesticides) to analyse the nature and extent of published statistical data about poisoning associated with these agents; hospital episode statistics, morbidity, mortality and in-house poison centres data. This will culminate in the publication of a report of published statistical estimates of chemicals-related injury to consumer products and identify gaps in these areas (Germany, France and UK).

Subcomponent 2: A key element of this research project is to obtain a more accurate source of product specific poisoning data, which is imperative to provide specific patient management advice. To obtain this data a three year retrospective analysis of enquiries will be conducted by two key poisons centres (Göttingen and Lille), aided by establishing a ‘matching process’ which will link coding structures, terminologies and in-house database systems employed by these poison centres to collect information about exposure events and explore the possibility of data harmonisation for risk assessment purposes for household consumer products.

Subcomponent 3: It is important to identify exposure data relevant for risk assessment and risk management measures handled by poison centres (London, Lille and Göttingen). A questionnaire will be circulated to determine future requirements and compare existing poison centre information databases for chemicals in household consumer products. Regional, national and international systems for characterising and estimating exposure and circumstances of exposure will also be reviewed.

Subcomponent 4: An accurate historical perspective and review of past toxicovigilance activities and risk management measures is required to take the findings from this study forward. Subcomponent 4 expects to deliver a review of risk management measures, identify successful interventions and similarly areas of concern. Toxicovigilance activities of a key poison centre (Lille) will be reported and subsequent contribution and impact on risk management will be evaluated. The risk management measures review for consumer products will include an assessment of the alerting mechanisms used by poisons centres and lessons learned from a poison centres previous toxicovigillance activities.

Subcomponent 5: The design and execution of a prospective multi-centre feasibility study is a significant aspect of this project and is expected to improve data collection and have a positive impact on future recommendations for improving risk management measures. The design of this study will take into account the results and recommendations of previous subcomponents (Subcomponent 1-Subcomponent 4) and will investigate the feasibility of adding to the routine collection of poison centres data. This will improve characterisation of the circumstances and nature of exposure to chemicals throughout Czech Republic, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.