by IISD’s SDG Knowledge Hub ,

The Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC) has redesigned its toolbox for helping countries identify appropriate and efficient national actions to address specific problems regarding chemicals management.The December 2020 redesign of the IOMC Internet-based Toolbox for Decision Making in Chemicals Management is intended to provide easier and more direct access to eight management schemes, six toolkits and more than 500 IOMC tools, guidance documents, and training materials. The toolbox identifies available IOMC resources to help countries, focusing on simple, cost-effective solutions to national chemicals management issues.

The management schemes relate to:

  • Chemical accident prevention, preparedness and response to help protect the health of workers and the public;
  • A classification and labelling system;
  • Industrial chemicals management to strengthen national capacity in assessing risks associated with industrial chemicals;
  • National management of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs), publicly accessible databases or inventories of chemicals or pollutants released to air, water, and soil and transferred off-site for treatment;
  • National management of pesticides, covering the pesticide lifecycle from production to registration, distribution, use, and disposal;
  • Occupational health and safety management for chemicals;
  • Public health chemicals management; and
  • Best available techniques, which help establish emission limit values and other permit conditions for industrial emissions.

The six external toolkits developed by IOMC organizations are the:

  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Pesticide Registration Toolkit;
  • Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Environmental Risk Assessment Toolkit;
  • UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Chemical Leasing Toolkit;
  • UNIDO Innovative Approaches for the Sound Management of Chemicals and Chemical Waste Toolkit;
  • UNIDO Green Chemistry Toolkit; and
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Human Health Risk Assessment Toolkit: Chemical Hazards.

IOMC notes that the Toolbox is a work in progress, with additional updates expected to expand its scope in the future. 

The IOMC brings together nine intergovernmental organizations involved in chemical safety. It was established in 1995, following recommendations made by the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), particularly those in Chapter 19 of Agenda 21 regarding toxic chemicals. [IOMC Toolbox for Decision-Making in Chemicals Management] [SDG Knowledge Hub sources]

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