Chemicals, Environment, Health: A Global Management Perspective (Hardback) book cover

Chemicals, Environment, Health

A Global Management Perspective

Edited by Philip Wexler, Jan van der Kolk, Asish Mohapatra, Ravi Agarwal

© 2011 – CRC Press

845 pages | 27 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2011-08-09
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The past 40 years have seen a phenomenal growth in globally oriented public and private initiatives related to chemical and environmental issues. The groundbreaking 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm was the event responsible for initiating framework for global environmental policies, including those addressing chemical safety. It gave rise to the first World Environment Day and the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme, leading the way to the acknowledgement that sustainable development is the most logical and viable pathway to preserve and enhance our environment for future generations.

Chemicals, Environment, Health: A Global Management Perspective presents an overview of the noteworthy conferences, organizations, and international treaties that focus on chemicals management and policy. It takes into account special challenges faced by developing countries regarding chemicals safety. From the Stockholm Conference to follow-ups in Rio and Johannesburg, it provides concise coverage of a vast swath of information. It highlights pivotal agreements such as the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions, the more expansive Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, as well as key regional agreements such as the European Union’s REACH legislation. The book includes invited essays in areas such as emergencies and financing instruments, and offers a clear look at future challenges and opportunities.

Written by a team of authors from all continents, with backgrounds in international organizations, national governments, academia, industry, and NGOs, the book reflects a wide experience from a multitude of perspectives.

A valuable guidebook to global chemicals management cooperation, this book reviews and analyzes multi-lateral efforts established to address the potential risks of chemicals on the world stage.


"It is a book to read straight through or savor a section at a time, and belongs on the bookshelf of anyone interested in making a difference in the way we and future generations will live our lives in a world in which our health, and the environments, will no longer be endangered by potentially hazardous chemicals at any stage of their life cycle."

—Maurice Strong, From the Foreword

Table of Contents

The Context

Creating and Controlling Chemical Hazards: A Brief History,

Jody A. Roberts


Stockholm, 1972: Conference on the Human Environment,

Lars-Göran Engfeldt

Rio 1992: The UN Conference on Environment and Development (The "Earth Summit"),

Shelley Kath

Johannesburg (2002) The World Summit on Sustainable Development,

Shelley Kath

International Conference on Chemicals Management 1,

Linn Persson and Viveka Bohn

ICCM-2: Cementing Process and Making Progress toward the 2020 Goal,

Melanie Ashton and Pia M. Kohler

Global/Multilateral Instruments

The Aarhus Convention: Impact on Sound Chemicals Management with Special Emphasis on Africa,

Ebeh Adayade Kodjo

Global Collaborations in Managing Chemical and Environmental Risks: The Basel Convention—A Promising Future,

Pierre Portas

The Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol,

Bert Metz

Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution,

Johan Sliggers

The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals: The System, Its History and Context, and the Future of Implementation,

Cheryl Chang

The International Code of Conduct on Distribution and Use of Pesticides,

Gamini Manuweera

The Kiev Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers,

Michael Stanley-Jones

The Rotterdam Convention,

Ernest Mashimba

Implementing the Stockholm Convention: An Increasingly Expensive Challenge,

Pia M. Kohler and Melanie Ashton

The Vienna Convention, Montreal Protocol, and Global Policy to Protect Stratospheric Ozone,

David Downie


Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management: Development and Opportunities,

Hamoudi Shubber


Food and Agriculture Organization,

Mark Davis

International Chemicals Management within the Global Environmental Governance Context,

Achim Halpaap

Managing Chemical Risks: The Role of the Chemical Industry,

Michael Walls

The Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety,

Jack Weinberg

International Labour Organization’s Activities in the Area of Chemical Safety,

Pavan Baichoo

Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemical,

Jan van der Kolk

The International Panel on Chemical Pollution,

Martin Scheringer, Åke Bergman, and Heidelore Fiedler

The Role of the International POPs Elimination Network,

Mariann Lloyd-Smith

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,

Richard Sigman

The Chemical Weapons Convention and the Work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,

Boitumelo V. Kgarebe and Cristina B. Rodrigues

National and International Scientific Societies Role in Global Collaboration in Chemicals Management,

John Duffus

The Role of United Nations Development Programme in Sound Chemicals Management,

Jan van der Kolk

United Nations Environment Programme and UNEP Chemicals,

Jan van der Kolk

United Nations Industrial Development Organization,

Heinz Leuenberger and Elisa Tonda

United Nations Institute for Training and Research,

Craig Boljkovac and Jan van der Kolk

The Contributions of the World Health Organization to Sound Chemicals Management,

John A. Haines

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,

Bert Metz

Representative Country Implementations

Chilean Approach to Chemical Safety and Management,

Asish Mohapatra and Sergio Peña Neira

Chemical Management System in China: Past, Present, Future,

DaeYoung Park

Chemicals in Egypt: A Generic Perspective,

Mohamed Tawfic Ahmed and Naglaa M. Loutfi

Capacities for Chemicals and Pesticides Management in Ghana,

John A. Pwamang

Chemicals Management and Safety in India,

Ravi Agarwal

Sao Tomé and Principe and the Issue of Persistent Organic Pollutants

Arlindo Carvalho

Activities, Challenges, and Accomplishments of the Republic of Slovenia in the Implementation of Chemical Management Instruments,

Marta Ciraj

Implementation of the Rotterdam Convention in Third World Countries: The Tanzania Experience,

Ernest Mashimba

Regional Activities

Tripartite Environmental Collaboration between China, Japan, and Korea in Chemical Management,

Dae Young Park

REACH: Next Step to a Sound Chemicals Management,

Arnold van der Wielen

North America Cooperation in Chemical Management,

Asish Mohapatra and Phil Wexler

Regional Cooperation among South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Countries in the Areas of Chemical and Environmental Risk Management,

Lakshmi Raghupathy, Asish Mohapatra, Ravi Agarwal, and Jan van der Kolk

Invited Essays

A Global Approach to Environmental Emergencies,

Chris Dijkens

Emerging Issues in Global Chemical Policy,

Franz Perrez and Georg Karlaganis

Financing Instruments Related to Chemicals and Waste Management,

Ibrahima Sow

Information Resources Supporting Global Chemicals Policy and Management,

Asish Mohapatra and Philip Wexler

Future Outlook

Future Outlook and Challenges

Jan van der Kolk and Ravi Agarwal

About the Editors

Philip Wexler is a Technical Information Specialist at the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program. He is the federal liaison for the Toxicology Education Foundation and the World Library of Toxicology. He coordinates and manages NLM’s risk assessment information databases and online tools on the TOXNET system, and is project manager of the LactMed file on drugs and lactation. He is team leader for the development of the ToxLearn online tutorials, a joint activity with the U.S. Society of Toxicology (SOT). Formerly chair, for two years, of US Society of Toxicology’s (SOT) World Wide Web Advisory Team, he is President of the Society’s Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Specialty Section. Mr. Wexler has co-organized the Toxicology History Room for a variety of professional meetings. He was a member of the Education and Communications Work Group of the CDC/ATSDR’s National Conversation on Public Health and Chemical Exposure project. Mr. Wexler has published numerous papers on toxicology information and has lectured and taught widely on the subject in the U.S. and abroad. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Toxicology, Second edition, 2005, with a third edition in progress, and Information Resources in Toxicology, 4th edition, 2009), both published by Elsevier Science. He is currently working on a major review article on toxicology informatics, for Critical Reviews in Toxicology. He is the recipient of the SOT’s 2010 Public Communications Award.

Jan van der Kolk (The Netherlands, 1945) has a background in chemistry and microbiology. He served as deputy director of Environmental Health in the Ministry of Environment of The Netherlands until 2005. Since, he has been working as an independent expert, under the company name Eco Conseil, mainly in the field of implementing International Environmental Agreements, mostly in countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. He has worked extensively with the European Union and most international organizations that have programmes for the sound management of chemicals and pesticides. He was one of the founding fathers of UNEP Chemicals. He has been chair of the Codex Committee on Pesticides Residues, under the Alimentarius Commission and of the Working Group on Pesticides of the OECD. He was an initiator of the review of the European Chemicals Management rules, which ultimately resulted in the REACH regulation. Learn more about Jan van der Kolk at his website.

Asish Mohapatra is a regional health risk assessment and toxicology specialist for the Contaminated Sites, Environmental Health Program, Health Canada (Alberta/Northern Region). He has 15 years experience in public and private sector in the areas of life sciences, environmental public health sciences, chemical and computational toxicology, health risk assessment and management, and environmental management. He has post graduate and pre-doctoral degrees in Life Sciences (toxicology) and Environmental Sciences (industrial toxicology and hemato-toxicology) respectively. He has extensively reviewed and analyzed projects on chemical risk assessment and management, and numerous human health risk assessments and management projects. He has also reviewed several environmental impact assessment projects related to air, soil, and groundwater, biotic effects and community health assessment issues around residential, commercial, and industrial contaminated sites. Additionally, he has conducted critical reviews of air, water and soil toxicology, indoor and outdoor air quality health effects assessment and dynamics, and exposure analysis and health risks from everyday exposure to emerging physical, chemical, biological, and psychosocial stressors. He has conducted uncertainty analysis, quantitative risk assessment modelling, and toxicological evaluations of petroleum, chlorinated, and poly aromatic hydrocarbons. He has been evaluating existing and emerging tools and computational technologies to effectively use them to analyze, interpret, disseminate, and share toxicological and health risk assessment data from disparate sources under public health toxicology and risk assessment frameworks.

Ravi Agarwal is founder-director of Toxics Link, a key environmental NGO located in New Delhi and working on issues of chemical safety and waste for over 15 years. A Communications Engineer by training, he pioneered public advocacy based work in this area, after over 15 years of professional experience as an entrepreneur and engineer. He has been part of several policy and legislative processes in India as member of Standards Expert Groups on Biomedical Waste, Hazardous Waste technologies, Plastics Waste management, amongst others. He has lectured extensively on chemical safety issues besides helping in on the ground initiatives as well as the formulation of new policy. He has written widely on these issues, both in journals as well as in the popular media. Internationally he has worked closely with agencies like WHO and UNEP for initiatives on hazardous waste trade, mercury, technological options for biomedical waste treatment, and lead in paints. He has participated as an NGO representative in the formulation of several iternational multilateral treaty processes, including the Stockholm Convention on POPs, the Basel Convention, the SAICM process, as well as the ongoing intergovernmental negotiations for a Mercury Treaty. He is an Executive Board member of the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN), a global network with over 600 members mostly from the global south as its Treasurer, besides being a Steering Committee member, and has been a member of the Zero Mercury Working Group, Health Care Without Harm, and the Basel Action Network since their inception. He was the first India chair of the Global Greengrants Foundation, and initiated the Environmental Equity and Justice Partnership fund in India to support grassroots work on chemical safety. He was awarded the IFCS–WHO Special Recognition Award for Chemical Safety in 2008 and the Ashoka Fellowship in 1998.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Industrial & Technical
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General