World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Better regulations for safer, more robust trade in chemicals

Better regulations for safer, more robust trade in chemicals
Issued by the APEC Chemical Dialogue

8 November 2012, Bangkok, Thailand – Regulators from the APEC region learned how to better assess and manage chemical risks with the aim of developing rules that facilitate trade and protect human health and the environment.

Leading experts, industry representatives and officials in charge of chemical regulations in APEC’s developing economies exchanged key experiences and acquired new tools for human health and ecological risk analysis in trade of chemical products. This is part of a two-day APEC capacity building workshop held at Thailand’s Chulabhorn Research Institute (CRI).

“The term ‘risk’ simply refers to the probability that a particular hazard will cause harm,” explained Dr. David MacIntosh, lead workshop facilitator and Chief Science Officer at Environmental Health & Engineering, Inc., a consulting firm in the United States.

“By assessing, managing and communicating these risks, regulators will be better placed to ensure the safe and sustainable use and trade of chemicals,” he continued. “They will be able to develop and implement a policy framework that stimulates growth, innovation and trade, while protecting the environment and the public at the same time.”

“What we hope to ultimately achieve is greater innovation, safer technologies, and enhanced trade at reduced business costs,” added Dr. MacIntosh.

Global output of the chemical industry has increased 20-fold from 1970 to 2010, according to a 2012 report by the United Nations’ Environment Programme (UNEP). Significantly, chemical production in the Asia-Pacific region is also expected to grow by 46 percent between 2012 and 2020. This growth will present substantial opportunity for improved processes and result in safe management of chemical trade.

Sharing experiences of risk assessment and management in their domestic regulatory regimes and making use of international resources, APEC regulators are taking concrete steps towards developing sound chemical regulations.

The resources include the World Health Organization’s Human Health Risk Assessment Toolkit. Other opportunities for collaboration with the international community under the UNEP’s Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management were also explored.

Recognizing the importance of greater collaboration, Dr. Mathuros Ruchirawat, CRI's Vice-president for Research and Academic Affairs, emphasized the need for improving capacity and cooperation among chemical regulators in the region, particularly in developing economies, in the area of risk assessment and risk management of chemicals.

"It is our belief that risk assessments will allow identification and prioritization of chemical safety and chemicals management issues that will lead to minimization of impacts on health and the environment from the use of chemicals in development,” she added.

The chemical industry is a cross-cutting sector that contributes significantly to all economic sectors in the global economy. Its products – ranging from plant fertilizers and feeds to building materials and pharmaceuticals – are widely traded across borders. The industry is a key economic building block in APEC economies.

This workshop is one of the APEC Chemical Dialogue’s capacity building events. The group serves as a primary forum for regulatory officials, industry representatives and academia to find lasting solutions to challenges facing the chemical industry and users of chemicals in the APEC region.

# # #

More details about APEC’s 2012 priorities and initiatives for the year can be found on www.apec.org or www.apec2012.ru.

Additional details about APEC meetings, events, projects and publications can be found at www.apec.org. You can also follow APEC on Twitter and join us on Facebook.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news