Inventory Multi-teired Assessment and Prioritistion (IMAP) Links


Inventory Multi-tiered Assessment and Prioritisation (IMAP) Framework

NICNAS has developed in consultation with stakeholders and technical experts a science and risk based framework for the assessment and prioritisation of chemicals on the AICS. This inventory multi-tiered assessment and prioritisation (IMAP) framework is illustrated in Figure1.

IMAP Framework

Figure 1: IMAP Framework (click for full diagram)

In developing the IMAP framework NICNAS has explored availability and utility of tools, criteria and assessment approaches developed internationally with a focus on Canada, the USA, Europe and international agencies such as Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Health Organisation.

The IMAP framework has been developed to address the main issues raised by stakeholders, including the difficulty for industry to provide exposure information, reducing duplication of efforts through use of information generated overseas and achieving assessment outcomes early in the life of the project.

Key features of the framework are:

Scientifically robust risk based approach

The IMAP framework utilises simple and transparent criteria for human health hazard, environmental hazard and potential exposure to chemicals to determine risk. The IMAP framework also allows for expert judgement to be applied where appropriate.

Achieving assessment outcomes early in the project

This approach takes into account advice from NICNAS’s Canadian counterpart and stakeholders, including industry and community, to incorporate assessment outcomes early in the program. Assessment outcomes will be produced at each tier (see figure 1). The effort and resources that will be utilised for the assessment outcomes will align with potential risk of the chemical. At each successive tier, the comprehensiveness (and resource intensiveness) of the assessments increase, while the number of chemicals requiring assessment decreases.

Use of overseas data

A number of other countries and international agencies are generating or gathering information about the human health and environmental effects of a broad range of chemicals. To ensure efficiency and reduce duplication of effort, NICNAS will utilise this information, where appropriate for the Australian context.
The human health and environmental scientific criteria are aligned with existing hazard classification frameworks already in use across industry and internationally to maximise the use of this information.

Advancements in assessment methodologies

To ensure best practice in assessment of chemicals in Australia, NICNAS will utilise internationally recognised assessment tools to fill gaps in available data on a number of human health and environmental hazard indicators.

Foremost among the tools and approaches to be used will be Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR) models or computational models for predicting toxicity and data from suitable analogue chemicals.

Exposure Information

The greatest challenge for making a risk assessment of existing chemicals on AICS is the lack of identity, volume and usage information on the chemicals currently being imported and/or manufactured in Australia.

The IMAP framework utilises surrogate information, such as from overseas sources, or conservative default values, where actual or surrogate information is not available, in the early stages (first and second tier assessmen

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