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25/06/2015 National Poisons Centre continues to deliver Poisonsline Staff at the National Poisons Centre based at the University of Otago are delighted to learn that the Ministry of Health has chosen Homecare Medical as the preferred provider for the National Telehealth Service.

The National Poisons Centre looks forward to working with Homecare Medical, as the lead provider, to continue to deliver the national Poisonsline based in Dunedin, says NPC Director Dr Wayne Temple.

Both organisations share the same values when it comes to health care delivery and believe that this partnership will be of greater benefit to the New Zealand public.

Homecare Medical will also be responsible for delivering Healthline, Immunisation Advice, Quitline, and the three helplines for Depression, Gambling, and Alcohol and Drugs. The National Poisons Centre will continue to deliver the Poisonsline service from Dunedin.

The NPC, based in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine at the University of Otago, has been providing the New Zealand public and health-care professionals with poisons advice for more than 50 years.

Partnering with Homecare Medical will ensure that every door is the right door for the people in New Zealand seeking health advice.

This partnership will only serve to enhance the Poisonsline Service, as the NPC will be supported by Homecare Medical in its service delivery. Greater access for patients and seamless inter-service referrals are just a couple of the benefits that will arise from the partnership, adds Dr Temple.

Im very pleased that people involved in this project have recognised the merit in retaining the National Poisons Centre.

The NPC currently handles approximately 35,000 poisoning enquires every year. It also maintains a poisons information database called TOXINZ. The NPC will continue to operate 24/7 and can be contacted by calling 0800 POISON / 0800 764-766.
16/06/2015 New rules for antifouling paints The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is reminding boaties and anyone else who paints boats of new rules for using antifouling paints.

From 1 July 2015, anyone who uses antifouling paints has to make sure they work in a controlled work area.

This means they have to make sure none of the paint they spray can get out of the work area, and nobody else can get in while they are working.

They also have to put up signs to warn people about the work they are doing, and the measures they need to take to stay safe.

The new rules require anyone who removes antifouling paint from a boat to make sure that all the scrapings and other waste are collected and disposed of properly.

And a rule that came into force two years ago requires anyone who handles antifouling paint to use protective clothing or equipment to limit their exposure to the paint and its fumes.

For more information go to or downlaod a copy of the brochure from our resources page.
10/10/2012 Nitrogen cocktail drinker's stomach removed Authorities say a British teen has had her stomach removed after she ingested a cocktail prepared with liquid nitrogen, an exotic ingredient often used by bartenders to add a touch of drama to their drinks.

British media say 18-year-old Gaby Scanlon was out with her friends Thursday night in the northern England city of Lancaster when she was hospitalised after having a drink prepared with liquid nitrogen, a super-cooled version of the harmless gas.

Liquid nitrogen evaporates rapidly at room temperature, creating a cauldron effect as water condenses around the glass.

It's not clear how exactly Scanlon managed to ingest the liquid local police have said they're investigating but public health officials say it's time to take a second look at its use in bars.

The bar is not thought to have made an error in preparing the drink but The Telegraph newspaper quoted Professor Peter Barham, of the University of Bristol's School of Physics stressing the proper use of liquid nitrogen.

The temperature of the liquid is around -196C and if it is not used properly it can cause frostbite or cryogenic burns, he warned.

"As with any very hot or very cold liquid proper safety measures must be taken,'' he told The Telegraph. ''Just as no-one would drink boiling water or oil or pour it over themselves, so no-one should ingest liquid nitrogen.

"Liquid nitrogen can be used safely in the preparation of foods. However, since it is not safe to ingest liquid nitrogen due care must be taken to ensure that the liquid has all evaporated before serving any food or drink that was prepared with liquid nitrogen.''

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TOXINZ ( is the National Poisons Centre's Internet database containing information regarding toxic compounds and the management of poisoned patients.

For information on subscribing to TOXINZ, contact

Welcome to the New Zealand National Poisons Centre

Kids - Click here for games The National Poisons Centre is a 24/7 Poisons Information Service available to all New Zealanders.

Provided by the Ministry of Health and ACC, the NPC maintains an accurate and up-to-date database of almost all poisonous substances in NZ and Australia, and provides professional and timely advice during poisoning incidents.

Submitting SDS's to the National Poisons Centre

Safety Datasheet (SDS) Submission to
The National Poisons Centre (NPC)

New Zealand SDS legislation
In New Zealand SDS regulations are undertaken by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). For advice regarding compliance of SDS for the New Zealand market they can be contacted at . They also have information regarding SDS requirements at

Some important requirements from the legislation are:
  • SDS must be updated every 5 years or earlier if they need an update due to composition or name change
  • If using an external emergency contact (e.g. the NPC) you must gain permission to use their number on an SDS and provide them with the SDS
  • The name used on an SDS must be the same as on the label

The NPC as an emergency contact
The NPC is happy to act as an emergency contact for first-aid or medical advice in the event of an acute exposure. The NPC number can be used on the product label or on the SDS or both. Our 24 hour contact within NZ is 0800 764 766 (0800 POISON). This service is currently free of charge. If you wish to use our number on your products or SDS's, please email to request permission.

If our number is used on the SDS or the product label, it is a legislative requirement that manufacturers or suppliers of chemical products provide us with a copy of the SDS. We then have the information readily available in case it is required in any poisoning situation. These should be supplied before a product is marketed.

How can I provide the NPC with an SDS?
Please note that under current legislation you must ask for the NPCs permission to put the NPCs number on an SDS or label.
Memory sticks and CD/DVD roms can be sent to the following address. Files must be named as per the products name on the label.

Postal Address
The National Poisons Centre
SDS submission
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand

Courier Delivery Address
The National Poisons Centre
SDS submission
University of Otago
2nd Floor, Adams Building
18 Frederick Street
Dunedin 9016
New Zealand

Digital pdf and word formats can be sent to the following email address:
Please note that .zip files are currently not accepted. Files must be named as per the products name on the label.

Online databases of SDS: if you have an online repository for SDS that we can access this is an appropriate way to provide SDSs. You must still ask permission to use the NPC details and inform us on how to access and use and access the repository. If a username and password is required then these details must be provided. It is preferable for the database to be searchable via the product name that is provided on the label of the product.

Frequently asked questions

Are SDS the same as material safety datasheets (MSDS)?

Can the NPC write an SDS for us?
No but there are many companies who can do this for you if you do not have the specialty expertise within your company.

Is there a cost for providing the NPC with SDS?
Currently there is no cost

Can I send an SDS that does not comply with the NZ format?
SDS available in NZ should comply with the NZ format. To find out how to make an overseas SDS NZ compliant please contact the EPA.

What phone number should we use for the NPC contact number?
0800 764 766 (0800 POISON)

If you require a number that can be called from overseas for shipping purposes please email for the current number
All other phone numbers are obsolete

Further Information
For further information on NZ requirements of SDS contact the EPA at

For further information on supplying SDS to the NPC contact

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University of Otago NZ National Poisons Centre

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