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Chemicals in products

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About Chemicals in products

Chemicals are important components in many of the products modern society uses and relies on. However, Chemicals of concern may be released at any stage of the product life cycle. resulting in potential exposures of humans and the environment, including from both newly produced products and products already present in society. Only a few of these chemicals are currently regulated or banned under the Basel, Stockholm and Minamata Conventions. These chemicals of concern are found in consumer products all over the world, resulting in the potential exposure of workers during manufacture, of consumers during use, of informal sectors involved in recycling and disposal with emphasis on women and children, and of the environment.

Access to Chemicals in Products (CiP) information is a global issue. It requires collaboration on a worldwide scale, across stakeholder lines and through the entire life cycle. Sharing information on chemicals in products between all stakeholders involved in the lifecycle is important for protecting human health and the environment. However, few systems are developed to inform on what exactly is in the product. The lack of information on chemicals in products is one of the obstacles to achieving a reduction of risks from these chemicals. Access to chemicals in products (CiP) information is a necessary condition to enable sound management of chemicals in everyday products, not only within manufacturing but also throughout the product’s life cycle.

The transparency of information about chemicals in global supply chains has been an emerging policy issue for the SAICM since 2009, leading to programmes such as the UNEP Chemicals in Products (CiP) Programme. The CiP programme focuses specifically on the textilestoyselectronics and building materials sectors.

To date, documentation of chemicals of concern in products often does not exist, and even when information about chemicals in products is available, it is often not made available outside supply chains or used for sound management. Measures to reduce chemicals of concern in products need to consider the whole value chain. Within a product life-cycle, specific stages, processes or product categories can be identified that account for a significant proportion of the impact of chemicals of concern.

 

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SAICM, NRDC Examine Addressing Chemicals in Textile Industry
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SAICM, NRDC Examine Addressing Chemicals in Textile Industry

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  • Article
    SAICM, NRDC Examine Addressing Chemicals in Textile Industry

    Article

    SAICM, NRDC Examine Addressing Chemicals in Textile Industry

    The policy brief includes recommendations for government and the private sector in approaching PFAS as a class for production and use control purposes. The cost to the textile industry of poor chemical management is estimated at €7 billion per year, indicated by the value opportunity of eliminating occupational illnesses by 2030. The report describes the textile sector as an appropriate choice for analysis given the sector’s global value chain, which provides lessons for capacity building and enabling conditions that can extend to other sectors as well.

  • Article
    Montreal Parties Agree on Replenishing Funds for Ozone Action

    Article

    Montreal Parties Agree on Replenishing Funds for Ozone Action

    The extraordinary meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (ExMOP 4) met to ensure donor countries could make payments to the Multilateral Fund within the fiscal year. Delegates then held discussions on scope and content of guidance to the TEAP Replenishment Task Force on further work on its replenishment report. OEWG 43 will resume in July 2021 to discuss energy efficiency and unexpected emissions of the ozone-depleting substance CFC-11.

  • Article
    Review Describes EU Progress and Challenges on E-Waste Targets

    Article

    Review Describes EU Progress and Challenges on E-Waste Targets

    EU member States collect and recover more discarded electrical and electronic equipment than most of the world. Addressing criminal activity remains a significant challenge in e-waste management, given the economic incentives for illegal or unsound waste management exist and low risk of getting caught. Updated requirements do not yet cover certain electrical and electronic equipment, like mobile phones and computers.

  • Article
    Call for proposals: Toolkit to support regulatory compliance in the toy supply chain

    Article

    Call for proposals: Toolkit to support regulatory compliance in the toy supply chain

    UNEP is looking for a partner to develop a training toolkit to support early supply chain actors in the toy sector in identifying, meeting and going beyond regulatory requirements on chemicals of...

  • Policy document
    Engaging the textiles industry as a key sector in SAICM: a review of PFAS as a chemical class in the textile sector

    Policy document

    Engaging the textiles industry as a key sector in SAICM: a review of PFAS as a chemical class in the textile sector

    The report examines the class approach for PFAS as it applies to the textile sector, which covers a wide variety of consumer products and connects two important issues covered in the SAICM context. The textile sector is an appropriate choice given the environmental significance of the sector and the scope of PFAS used within it. Both the quantity of PFAS in use and the variety of uses make this sector a priority for action. Furthermore, the nature of the sector—with a long and global value chain that includes companies of all sizes—can provide significant lessons for capacity building and enabling conditions, which can extend to other sectors as well.

  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Chemicals of concern in building materials

    Community of practice summary of discussions

    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...

  • Community of practice summary of discussions
    Community of Practice on Chemicals in Products - 2020 Digest Compliation

    Community of practice summary of discussions

    Community of Practice on Chemicals in Products - 2020 Digest Compliation

    The SAICM Secretariat, in partnership with the University of Cape Town, established a Community of Practice (CoP) on Chemicals in Products to bring representatives from different sectors together...

  • Report
    Chemicals of Concern in the Building and Construction Sector

    Report

    Chemicals of Concern in the Building and Construction Sector

    This UNEP report aims at providing an overview of the challenge that chemicals of concern pose in the context of products relevant for the building and construction sector. It outlines the...

  • Database
    Chemical Awareness toolkit

    Database

    Chemical Awareness toolkit

    The Chemical Awareness toolkit (CAt) is a free web application that provides rapid access to chemical information for product stewards, risk assessors, toxicologists, chemists, microbiologists, engineers, and other researchers. It includes screening tools that provide chemical information including toxicological hazards, environmental fate, persistence & bioaccumulation, occupational exposure limits, government regulations, and public perception

  • Academic article
    Exposure and toxicity characterization of chemical emissions and chemicals in products: global recommendations and implementation in USEtox

    Academic article

    Exposure and toxicity characterization of chemical emissions and chemicals in products: global recommendations and implementation in USEtox

    Reducing chemical pressure on human and environmental health is an integral part of the global sustainability agenda. Guidelines for deriving globally applicable, life cycle–based indicators are...

  • Policy document
    New digital technologies to tackle trade in illegal pesticides

    Policy document

    New digital technologies to tackle trade in illegal pesticides

    Global trade in illegal pesticides has been steadily growing in recent years, posing serious threats to agriculture, the environment, human health, and the economy. Evidence of this trend can be...

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