More

Blog

Articles

Share This

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

  • March 31
    Interactive Tool Illuminates Status of National Lead Paint Laws

    Interactive Tool Illuminates Status of National Lead Paint Laws

    The interactive map shows the status of national lead paint laws around the world as of February 2021. The map sorts countries with lead paint laws by income level among other types of information. Colombia and Vietnam are the most recent countries to establish lead paint laws.

    Read More
  • March 29
    Drafting Group Considers Terminology for Chemicals and Waste Declaration

    Drafting Group Considers Terminology for Chemicals and Waste Declaration

    A number of participants supported specific reference to the precautionary principle in the declaration. Some called for reference to an independent global fund that would support implementation of the new instrument. The fifth meeting of the HLD informal drafting group will meet on 4 May 2021.

    Read More
  • March 24
    Virtual Working Group Develops Options for Science-Policy Interface

    Virtual Working Group Develops Options for Science-Policy Interface

    The Virtual Working Group on Governance and Mechanisms to Support Implementation is one of four groups that recently completed their work ahead of IP4 and ICCM5. The group identified two options for establishing a science-policy interface: within the Beyond 2020 instrument, or an intergovernmental body comparable to the IPCC or IPBES. The VWG agreed that reports should be compiled and considered in a standardized, productive, and understandable manner, so the ICCM can use them to assess progress.

    Read More
  • March 18
    UNEP Finds More than Half of All Countries Have Binding Lead Limits or Are Drafting Laws

    UNEP Finds More than Half of All Countries Have Binding Lead Limits or Are Drafting Laws

    Colombia, Lebanon and Viet Nam established new lead paint laws in 2020. As of 31 December 2020, 79 countries have legally binding controls in place to limit the production, import and sale of lead paints, while another 26 are in the early or final stages of drafting laws. Countries that have enacted laws have either established a single regulatory limit on total lead concentration in paint or established chemical-specific regulatory limits.

    Read More
  • March 18
    Hazardous Substances Undermine Human Rights to Health, Life: OHCHR and UNEP

    Hazardous Substances Undermine Human Rights to Health, Life: OHCHR and UNEP

    The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Environmental Programme have issued a set of Key Messages to highlight human rights obligations and responsibilities for preventing and remedying the harmful effects of hazardous substances. Pollution is the largest source of premature deaths in developing countries. Human rights laws, norms, and standards must be applied to ensure those responsible for the harmful impacts of hazardous substances are held legally accountable, the authors stress.

    Read More
  • March 10
    Working Group Proposes Process to Address Chemical Issues of Concern

    Working Group Proposes Process to Address Chemical Issues of Concern

    A working group has proposed a process for addressing issues of concern related to the sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020. Participants proposed establishing multi-stakeholder committees to guide efforts and implementation on individual issues of concern. A group of NGOs proposed a set of “trigger criteria” to review existing issues of concern when voluntary work is insufficient. 

    Read More
  • March 3
    Working Group Generates Ideas for Financing Chemicals Work Beyond 2020

    Working Group Generates Ideas for Financing Chemicals Work Beyond 2020

    A virtual working group advanced work on financing for the Beyond 2020 chemicals framework. Participants supported a proposal to establish a clearinghouse mechanism to track development aid, and said the eighth GEF replenishment should prioritize building on established areas of international concern. The ICCA proposed a capacity-building clearinghouse mechanism for capacity-building efforts.

    Read More
  • March 3
    Harmful Chemicals Found in 25% of Children's Toys, UNEP Study Finds

    Harmful Chemicals Found in 25% of Children's Toys, UNEP Study Finds

    Infants and young children are particularly sensitive to chemical exposure due to their rapid metabolic rate, high surface area to body weight ratio, and fast growing organs and tissues. Numerous regulations worldwide limit and control the application of harmful additives and potentially toxic chemicals in plastic toys. The study introduces a new metric to benchmark chemical contents in toy materials based on exposure and risk.

    Read More
  • March 1
    Chemicals Working Group Recommends Targets for Beyond 2020 Framework

    Chemicals Working Group Recommends Targets for Beyond 2020 Framework

    A virtual working group on targets, indicators and milestones for the Beyond 2020 chemicals framework has developed recommendations on indicators and milestones for a set of targets proposed in 2020. The recommendations will be discussed during the fourth meeting of the intersessional process considering the Strategic Approach and sound management of chemicals and waste beyond 2020 and the fifth session of the International Conference on Chemicals Management.

    Read More
  • February 25
    Intersessional Work Advances Towards Beyond 2020 Chemicals Framework

    Intersessional Work Advances Towards Beyond 2020 Chemicals Framework

    The virtual intersessional work to advance the Beyond 2020 chemicals framework includes four working groups, which recently completed their work, as well as a technical briefing series and consultations on a high-level declaration for ICCM5. Upcoming technical briefings will address a new legal study on ILO chemical instruments, and the High Ambition Alliance on action on chemicals and waste at all levels in the context of the Beyond 2020 process. The outcomes of the intersessional work will be discussed during IP4 and ICCM5. 

    Read More
  • February 24
    PACE Releases Guidance for Circular Economy Transition in Five Sectors

    PACE Releases Guidance for Circular Economy Transition in Five Sectors

    The reports describe what a circular economy looks like for electronics, textiles, food, plastics, and capital equipment. They highlight the impact on people and the planet if those objectives were to be achieved, the barriers that stand to hinder implementation, and actions that can optimize the sector’s transition towards a more circular economy. The reports point to trade as a catalyst for the transition to circularity.

    Read More
  • February 22
    Informal Group Reviews Draft High-level Declaration for ICCM5

    Informal Group Reviews Draft High-level Declaration for ICCM5

    The drafting group held its third virtual meeting on 9 February 2021 to discuss the text. Participants disagreed on the scope of the declaration, with some preferring a focus on the beyond 2020 instrument and others calling for a broader agenda on chemicals and waste and potentially linkages to biodiversity and climate. With the further postponement of ICCM5, an additional meeting of the informal drafting group will take place on 9 March 2021.

    Read More
  • February 15
    Experts Call for New Ways to Identify and Address Chemical Issues of Concern

    Experts Call for New Ways to Identify and Address Chemical Issues of Concern

    Technical briefings are a component of the intersessional process leading to ICCM 5. Stakeholders highlighted limitations of the current system and the need to elaborate a process for identifying issues of concern in the SAICM successor agreement. Some suggested that a science-policy interface could conduct assessments, inform policymakers and the public to raise awareness, and facilitate the identification of issues of concern.

    Read More
  • February 15
    Minamata Convention Progress Report Highlights Actions on Mercury Management

    Minamata Convention Progress Report Highlights Actions on Mercury Management

    Scientific and technical activities described in the report include a review of products and processes that use mercury, and the means by which parties to the Convention can distinguish mercury-added products via customs codes for internationally traded goods. A project is underway to develop an integrated management system for the management of seized mercury to promote traceability and reduce illegal trade of mercury. The fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Minamata Convention, held once every two years, is scheduled to take place from 1-5 November 2021 in Bali, Indonesia.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.  

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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. 

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More