Intoxicated by a chemical? Because it is important that you know what UFI code is

There is a European notification of dangerous mixtures to help rescue as soon as possible and in the most appropriate way.

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

According to the European Chemicals Agency, more than half of phone calls to European poison centers concern children. However, there is the European notification of dangerous mixtures to help rescue as soon as possible and in the most appropriate way. What is it about

If you have accidentally been exposed to a product containing harmful chemicals, in most cases your first point of contact must necessarily be a poison control center or emergency room. But how to find a solution as soon as possible?

It is no coincidence, in fact, that in recent years, poison control centers have estimated that 40% of the calls received have had difficulty in identifying the offending product quickly and precisely, leading to excessively sometimes useless treatments.

Since 2020, a new element has appeared on the labels of many products: a 16-character code called unique formula identifier (Unique formula identifier, UFI) that by 2025 it will be mandatory on the label of all products classified as dangerous that present a risk to health or a danger to the safety of the person. Importers and downstream users placing such
products on the market will need to provide specific product information, including UFI, to poison centers. The tools and support for generating the UFI are available on the ECHA Poison Centers website.

What is UFI code

A unique formulation identifier composed of 16 characters which groups information on the product, its uses, components and toxicity. Having this code makes it easier and faster for poison center operators to recommend the right treatment. Obviously, in addition to the UFI, it is also necessary to provide poison centers with other information on the mixture and associated products, such as composition, trade name, color, packaging, product category and toxicological information. The UFI aims to establish a unique link between the information provided with the product placed on the market.

The code must be visible, legible, indelible on the label of the mixtures for which notification is mandatory. The code must be entered on the label preceded by the initials "UFI". The code is divided into four blocks, each separated by a dash.


Which products have a UFI code?

The UFI code is found on products considered dangerous due to their possible health or physical effects under the EU Regulation on classification, labeling and packaging. The classified products are those that have a pictogram (an icon, a graphic symbol that conveys its meaning through its pictorial resemblance to a physical object, for example the flame) and that, if not used correctly, can be harmful to the health.

Some of the products you can expect to find a UFI code on are:

  • glue sticks or more specialized adhesives for walls or floors

Read also: Don't buy glue stick, you can make it at home with 3 simple ingredients you have in the kitchen

  • air care products, ranging from air fresheners to scented candles
  • arts and crafts supplies, including finger paints or craft paints
  • cleaning products for the kitchen and bathroom
  • specialized cleaning products, including those intended for cleaning cars or shoes
  • laundry detergents, washing machine or dishwasher cleaning products, and fabric softeners

Read also: Does fabric softener really harm your health? Tips and alternatives for ecological laundry

  • blends for electronic cigarettes
  • garden chemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides
  • home building products, such as concrete and mortar
  • paints and coatings
  • fuels such as liquid firelighters and lamp fuels
  • inks and toners for printers

If you can't find the UFI code, it could be because companies have until early 2025 to include it on their labels. Furthermore, you will not find a UFI code, for example, on the labels of cosmetic products such as hair dyes, shampoos or hair sprays, or on pharmaceutical products, as they are governed by different laws.

The solution to be on the safe side? In addition to keeping an eye on every single label, we could start making some cleaners ourselves. Here are some tips:

  • Do-it-yourself single-dose detergents for washing machines, dishwashers and ecological cleaning
  • Wash the car: ecological detergents, do-it-yourself remedies and useful tips
  • DIY detergents: 5 ways and recipes to make stainless steel shine
  • 5 do-it-yourself detergents for the dishwasher
  • 5 do-it-yourself laundry detergents
  • Do-it-yourself detergents: how to self-make soap for the washing machine (liquid and powder)
  • Ecological and do-it-yourself detergents for cleaning the toilet

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Source: ECHA Europe

Read also:

  • Home safety: how to keep children away from domestic accidents
  • How to protect children from domestic accidents and how to rescue them (VIDEO)
  • Make delicate bleach at home: the recipe with 12% hydrogen peroxide
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