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Chemicals of concern in building materials


Chemicals of concern in building materials

The SAICM Secretariat, in partnership with the University of Cape Town, established a community of practice on Chemicals in Products to bring representatives from different sectors together and to create a learning network around issues related to addressing Chemicals in Products (CiP). This is a summary of the discussion on Chemicals of concern in building materials, which took place on 15 April 2021.

Presenters: Amélie Ritscher (UNEP), Oleg Ditkovskiy (ISC3), Stewart Muir (Bioregional)

Building and construction is one of the largest end-markets for the chemical industry. Products used in this sector are diverse and include building materials, such as concrete, plastic, or wood, but also many other products, such as paints, adhesives, sealants, or construction elements made of composite materials. Many of these products are chemical-intensive and some contain chemicals that can have a harmful impact on human health and the environment along the products life cycle. Considering the importance of the sound management of chemicals and wastes for the 2030 Agenda and the expected growth of the building and construction sector following rapidly increasing urbanization, managing chemicals in building materials is key. Focusing on chemicals of concern in the building and construction sector provides significant opportunities to increase the sector’s sustainability and circularity approach. This discussion engaged with questions from three dynamic presenters from UNEP, ISC3 and a social innovation organization.