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What do we want?

Platform on gases and vapors in Shipping Containers (Platform Gassen in Containers) 

The Platform, formed by organizations of employers and employees, aims to establish guidelines for safe handling of shipping containers which can contain harmful amounts of gas; gases used to rid cargo of vermin or to protect the cargo from being infected during its voyage, or gases which are emitted by the cargo (product and packaging) itself. 

The Platforms aim is to do this in an effective way, which will not frustrate the logistics chain. Furthermore we want to involve all relevant parties as well as to inform the entire (European) field on new developments.

Click here for the English version of the Action plan “ Safe handling of gasses in shipping containers”

You will find the action plan on this page. 


Investigation of acute symptoms as a result of inhalation exposure to toxic gasses from freight containers by the Dutch Poisons Information Centre (DPIC)


The DPIC provides a 24/7 information service to medical professionals about symptoms and treatment in case of possible poisoning of humans or animals. The centre also investigates the outcome of a poisoning. Considerable attention is currently being paid to working conditions of employees involved in unloading fumigated freight containers. During these activities, exposure to fumigants such as phosphine, methylbromide, 1,2-dichloroethane sometimes occurs. Other compounds present in freight containers can be organic solvents such as benzene and toluene evaporated from cargo.


Since February 2011 the Dutch Poison Information Centre has started an investigation to gain more insight into:
1. The severity of acute symptoms after inhalation exposure to container gasses
2. The frequency of these incidents
3. The circumstances of exposure. 

The DPIC would like to get in touch with employees who think they are exposed to toxic gasses and have developed acute symptoms.By means of a telephone survey, questions will be asked about the symptoms that occurred after inhalation and the possible cause of the exposure.

As employee you can call the number for medical professionals (030-2748888). Your name and telephone number will be registered, after which the DPIC will call you back. In case of serious symptoms it is very important to visit a medical doctor. In order to receive information about symptoms and treatment, the physician can contact the DPIC (030-2408888). Via the physician you will then be asked by the DPIC to participate in this investigation.

The aim of this research is to get a clear understanding of the scope of exposure to container gasses in order to ultimately reduce the exposure risk for you and your colleagues.

Thank you in advance

Contact person: Lies Scholtens