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United Nations Environment Programme Global Chemicals Outlook. 2012.

UNEP Cover

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) commissioned TURI and the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production to take leading roles in developing the Global Chemicals Outlook.

The report documents the rapid rise in chemical production, use, and disposal in developing countries; the health and environmental consequences of this rapid growth; the economic implications of health and environmental damage resulting from chemical exposures; and policy options for addressing these challenges at the national and international scale. It focuses on the impacts of chemicals in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

The report was created through a multi-year stakeholder process involving representatives from government, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, and inter-governmental organizations. Rachel Massey, Policy Program Manager at TURI, was responsible for convening and coordinating a series of international meetings to develop consensus on the information that should be included in the report. Ken Geiser, Co-Director of the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, also played a leading role in coordinating activities of the committee.

The final report includes three broad sections. The first section, by Rachel Massey and Molly Jacobs (Lowell Center for Sustainable Production), reviews trends in the chemical industry and implications for health and the environment. The second section, by colleagues at UNEP, considers the economic benefits of sound management of chemicals. The third section, by Ken Geiser and Sally Edwards (Lowell Center for Sustainable Production), reviews policy options for enhancing chemicals management.

Rachel Massey spoke at a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on September 5th for the launch of the report. Other press conferences were held in Nairobi, Mexico City, and Geneva.   The story appeared in nearly a thousand news outlets, with coverage in English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Chinese.

 Authors: R. Massey, M. Jacobs, K. Geiser, S. Edwards