Toxic substances in articles: the need for information
There is a growing interest and understanding of the potential exposure to chemicals contained in commonly used articles, such as personal computers, textiles, and toys. Information exchange is one key factor in enabling stakeholders to avoid hazardous chemicals and to manage risks. While an information system is not a substitute for other policy mechanisms to mitigate the harms from toxic substances in articles, it can be a powerful complement.
This report contributes to the continued discussion of the various measures needed to achieve improved chemicals management at national, regional and global levels, by exploring the benefits from information on chemicals in articles. The report is an input to the further development of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), adopted in February 2006, in particular to the objectives on knowledge and information (Objective 15) of its Overarching Policy Strategy and to some of the activities in the Global Plan of Action. The report was presented at an informal international workshop on stakeholders' information needs on chemicals in articles in Geneva in February 2009.
The report was commissioned by the Swedish Chemicals Agency (KemI), with funding from the Nordic Chemicals Group under the Nordic Council of Ministers. Responsibility for its contents rests with the authors. The authors are Rachel I. Massey and Janet G. Hutchins at the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Institute, Joel Tickner at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production and Monica Becker, Monica Becker & Associates.