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News and opinion articles to inform on challenges, trends and achievements on the sound management of chemicals.

  • February 10
    Technical Briefing Reviews Proposed International Tax on 35 Basic Chemicals

    Technical Briefing Reviews Proposed International Tax on 35 Basic Chemicals

    Chemical industry sales are expected to grow to approximately USD 11 trillion in 2030, up from USD 6 trillion in 2017. The proposal entails applying a 0.5% tax or fee on the production value of 35 basic chemicals, the proceeds of which would go to a global fund for chemical safety. The presentation highlighted the benefits of international cost recovery instruments as opposed to national ones.

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  • February 3
    UNEP Manual Suggests Ways to Advance Green and Sustainable Chemistry

    UNEP Manual Suggests Ways to Advance Green and Sustainable Chemistry

    The concepts of green and sustainable chemistry have gained significant attention for their potential to innovate and advance chemistry to help achieve the SDGs and their targets. A draft manual from UNEP suggests that universities introduce green and sustainable chemistry into teaching curricula, and chemicals companies set targets for replacing chemicals of concern through innovation. The manual overviews the evolution of the field of green and sustainable chemistry, including scientific and social dimensions.  

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  • January 27
    UNEP Report Identifies Top Actions to Minimize Adverse Impacts of Pesticides, Fertilizers

    UNEP Report Identifies Top Actions to Minimize Adverse Impacts of Pesticides, Fertilizers

    Pesticides cause both acute and long-term health impacts, with an estimated 385 million cases of non-fatal unintentional pesticide poisonings every year and approximately 11,000 deaths. Expanded global demand, production, and use of pesticides and fertilizers has led to combined sales that are growing at about 4.1% per year and projected to reach USD 309 billion by 2025. This is one of multiple reports UNEP is preparing for UNEA-5.

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  • January 25
    Stockholm Committee Reviews Three POPs for Screening, Listing

    Stockholm Committee Reviews Three POPs for Screening, Listing

    Participants discussed the ways in which the POPRC should address newer chemicals that have not been fully examined and when and whether to employ a precautionary approach. An intersessional working group was established to develop guidance on applying the long-range environmental transport criterion in the context of plastic pollution. The Committee deferred a decision on the draft risk profile for Dechlorane Plus until POPRC-17.

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  • January 20
    IPEN, SAICM Report on Chemicals’ Disproportionate Impacts on Women

    IPEN, SAICM Report on Chemicals’ Disproportionate Impacts on Women

    The report illustrates the impact chemicals have on women as a vulnerable group exposed to hazardous chemicals as well as gender inequalities re­lated to decision-making around chemicals and waste management. Women can suffer impacts on reproductive and pregnancy outcomes long after exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals. Information is lacking on the impacts of women of pharmaceuticals in the environment and nanomaterials.

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  • January 13
    Household Plastic Products Disrupt Endocrine System, Threaten Human Health

    Household Plastic Products Disrupt Endocrine System, Threaten Human Health

    Many of the plastics used every day are exposing us to a “harmful cocktail” of EDCs. Plastic production is projected to increase by 30-36% over the next six years, which will exacerbate EDC exposure and increase endocrine disease rates. Biodegradable plastics, often promoted as more ecological than conventional plastics, contain similar chemical additives and have endocrine-disrupting effects.

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  • January 11
    Virgin Plastic Production Must be Addressed in Pollution Treaty: Expert Brief

    Virgin Plastic Production Must be Addressed in Pollution Treaty: Expert Brief

    Among the global agreements to address plastic waste are targets under the 2030 Agenda, which have lent momentum but do not clearly or effectively discourage virgin plastic production. Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal took the first major legally binding action to control plastic waste. A UNEA expert group is expected to to present the results of its two-year discussion during UNEA-5, with the possible result of initiating an intergovernmental negotiating process toward a treaty on plastic pollution.

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  • December 18
    Asia-Pacific Chemical Industry Discusses Updates to Strategic Framework

    Asia-Pacific Chemical Industry Discusses Updates to Strategic Framework

    The Chemical Dialogue held a virtual meeting to discuss updating the APEC Chemical Dialogue Strategic Framework 2020-2023. The chemical industry plays a critical role in producing supplies to fight COVID-19, including masks, other personal protective equipment (PPE), and hand sanitizer. In the Asia Pacific region, the chemical industry represents more than 45% of global chemical manufacturing and over 69% of global jobs in the industry. 

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  • December 18
    GEF Council Approves Work Program, Endorses Private Sector Engagement Strategy

    GEF Council Approves Work Program, Endorses Private Sector Engagement Strategy

    GEF CEO and Chairperson Carlos Manuel Rodríguez called on the Council to: place green recovery strategies to respond to COVID-19 at the heart of the GEF’s new Work Program; set robust targets for the GEF-8 replenishment; and support the effectiveness of national-level programmes, including through the sharing of best practices. During the 29th meeting of the Least Developed Countries Fund and Special Climate Change Fund Council, Council Members approved a USD 64 million LDCF Work Program, comprising nine projects, including three multi-trust fund projects that combine resources with the GEF.

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  • December 18
    Virtual Working Groups Advancing Beyond 2020 Chemicals Framework

    Virtual Working Groups Advancing Beyond 2020 Chemicals Framework

    Four Virtual Working Groups will address: targets, indicators and milestones; governance and mechanisms to support implementation; issues of concern; and financial considerations. ICCM5 Chair Gertrud Sahler emphasized the need for sound chemicals and waste management to achieve SDG 3 (good health and well-being) and overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the intersessional period is enable IP4 to finalize recommendations for decision-making at ICCM in July 2021.

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  • December 18
    Online Toolbox Supports National Chemicals Management

    Online Toolbox Supports National Chemicals Management

    The Toolbox identifies available resources to help countries find solutions to chemicals management issues. The Toolbox provides management schemes for eight issues, as well as six toolkits, and hundreds of tools.

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  • December 18
    Chemicals and Waste Declaration Discussions Focus on Structure, Key Elements

    Chemicals and Waste Declaration Discussions Focus on Structure, Key Elements

    The group supported exploring the best ways to raise the political profile of chemicals and waste management, including whether to reference the UN General Assembly in the HLD. The informal group is expected to develop an HLD draft for negotiations at the IP4 and ICCM5.While the COVID-19 pandemic might threaten to draw attention and resources away from chemicals work in the short term, chemicals have been crucial in responding to the pandemic, observed the ICCM5 President.

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  • December 1
    Declaration Drafting Group Collects Input on Chemicals and Waste Management Beyond 2020

    Declaration Drafting Group Collects Input on Chemicals and Waste Management Beyond 2020

    An informal drafting group discussed potential elements for inclusion in a high-level declaration on the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. The possible declaration would be adopted at the fifth International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5), currently scheduled to convene in Bonn, Germany, from 5-9 July 2021.

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  • December 1
    Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund to Continue Operations in 2021-2023

    Montreal Protocol’s Multilateral Fund to Continue Operations in 2021-2023

    Governments reached several agreements to allow the continued functioning of the Vienna Convention and its Montreal Protocol, becoming the first UNEP-serviced body to hold a virtual meeting that took multiple legally binding decisions. The agenda included: the replenishment of the Multilateral Fund for the triennium 2021-2023; methyl bromide critical-use exemptions for 2021 and 2022; financial reports and budgets; and membership of the various Protocol bodies and assessment panels. 

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  • November 24
    UN Special Rapporteur Emphasizes Right to Science in Managing Toxics

    UN Special Rapporteur Emphasizes Right to Science in Managing Toxics

    The UN Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights was established 25 years ago because of growing concern regarding hazardous waste generated in Europe being dumped in Africa.  The briefing presented assessment reports on issues of concern and on strengthening the science-policy interface for chemicals and waste management.

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  • November 24
    UNEP Compares Options for Science-Policy Interface on Chemicals and Waste

    UNEP Compares Options for Science-Policy Interface on Chemicals and Waste

    UNEA-4 underscored the need to strengthen the SPI at all levels to support and promote science-based local, national, regional, and global action on the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. The report outlines three possible options for strengthening the SPI at the international level: an independent platform, similar to the IPCC and IPBES models; institutionalizing the Global Chemicals Outlook and Global Waste Management Outlook processes; and thematic subsidiary panels.

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  • November 24
    UNEP Assesses Eight Issues of Concern for Chemicals and Waste Management

    UNEP Assesses Eight Issues of Concern for Chemicals and Waste Management

    The report argues for integrating efforts on sound chemicals and waste management with other priorities, such as climate change, biodiversity, human rights, and labor standards. The authors suggest addressing a wider range of issues of concern, to include those that have previously received insufficient attention, rather than specific hazardous chemicals or groups of chemicals. The report is intended to support further discussions at UNEA-5 in February 2021.

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  • October 25
    Lead Paint Alliance Highlights Success Stories Ahead of Week of Action

    Lead Paint Alliance Highlights Success Stories Ahead of Week of Action

    Ahead of the eighth International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (Lead Paint Alliance) has highlighted a number of success stories from 2019,...

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  • October 25
    WHO Makes Case for Laws to Eliminate Lead Paint

    WHO Makes Case for Laws to Eliminate Lead Paint

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a policy brief and accompanying technical brief on eliminating lead paint and ways for countries to take action.The briefs, titled ...

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  • October 22
    Experts Discuss Success Factors in Regulating Lead in Paint

    Experts Discuss Success Factors in Regulating Lead in Paint

    The Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (Lead Paint Alliance) held a webinar for policymakers on eliminating lead in paint through regulatory action. The Lead Paint Alliance ...

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  • October 15
    OECD, Experts Discuss Access to Information on Chemical Safety

    OECD, Experts Discuss Access to Information on Chemical Safety

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) hosted a webinar on its eChemPortal, which aims to increase access to information on chemicals, enable companies and...

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  • October 12
    WEF Paper Guides Trade Facilitation of More Circular Electronics Industry

    WEF Paper Guides Trade Facilitation of More Circular Electronics Industry

    In a new white paper titled, ‘Facilitating Trade Along Circular Electronics Value Chains,’ the World Economic Forum (WEF) has reviewed the role of trade in moving to a more circular economy...

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  • October 12
    SAICM Brief Explores Costing Tools for Sound Chemicals Management

    SAICM Brief Explores Costing Tools for Sound Chemicals Management

    In a new policy brief, the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) shows how governments are using economic tools to balance the benefits of chemicals with their socio...

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  • October 12
    Dates Announced for International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2020

    Dates Announced for International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week 2020

    The eighth International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (ILPPW) will take place from 25–31 October 2020. Virtual events during the week will focus on the need to accelerate progress towards the...

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  • October 2
    Prevention Week Pushes Global Phase Out of Lead Paint

    Prevention Week Pushes Global Phase Out of Lead Paint

    ​The eighth International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (ILPPW) will focus on accelerating progress to phase out lead paint around the world. A website for the campaign from...

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