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

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

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>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news