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The Existing Chemicals Program (ECP)

NICNAS’s ECP assesses chemicals listed on the AICS on a priority basis if concerns are raised about their health or environmental effects – or both.

 

The AICS is the legal device that is used to determine whether an industrial chemical is an existing industrial chemical (on the AICS – and able to be introduced without notification) or a new chemical (not on the AICS, and therefore needing to be notified to NICNAS before introduction unless exempt).

 

The AICS consists of some 40,000 chemicals and was established more than two decades ago.

 

Recommendations on the safe use of existing chemicals made in Priority Existing Chemicals (PEC) assessment reports provide measures to mitigate identified risks to human health and the environment.

 

Recommendations on ways to control and reduce the risks are therefore made available to companies introducing chemicals, to people in the workplace, to other government agencies, and to the public.

 

The ECP also undertakes other assessments on existing chemicals to address specific concerns, or if new data become available on chemicals that have already been assessed by NICNAS.

 

An international Program that focuses on the preparation and dissemination of conclusions on hazards of chemicals agreed by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) members provides a forum to develop approaches to the assessment of chemicals and to develop internationally reviewed / endorsed assessments.

 

NICNAS’ participation in the program allows access to existing chemical assessments from many governments for use in Australia’s national assessment program.

 

This enables Australia to contribute to – and benefit from – an accelerating global effort to assess existing industrial chemicals. It also permits Australian assessment methodologies to be aligned with those overseas where relevant, cutting duplication and cost.

 

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