Media Release - Public’s right to know about industrial chemicals


11 Aug 1999

The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) today released for public comment a plan to develop a list of all industrial chemicals that are manufactured in Australia or imported in large quantities.

"The high volume chemicals list is a big step forward in our endeavours to satisfy the community's right to know about potential chemical hazards," says NICNAS Director Dr Margaret Hartley. "It will also help NICNAS and other government agencies to focus on chemicals that are of particular concern to the Australian people and the environment".

Comment is sought from industry and the public as to how the list should be compiled and what information it should contain. It is suggested that each chemical on the list is identified by its international name and code number as well as its local trade names, information concerning the volume in which the chemical is manufactured or imported, which industries use the chemical, and its general applications.

NICNAS is proposing that industry report every three years on all industrial chemicals manufactured or imported in high volume so that the list can be kept up to date.

The discussion paper for public comment is available on the NICNAS web site at http://www.worksafe.gov.au/nicnas/highvol.asp. The complete list will be published on the Internet.

Contact at NICNAS for public submissions and for information about public seminars is Dr Steen Kristensen on phone (02) 9577 9464, email kristens@ASCC.gov.au. Submissions must be received by 19 October.


The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) operates under the Commonwealth Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989.

NICNAS is a statutory scheme within the portfolio of the Minister for Health and Ageing. Its approach to the scientific assessment of chemicals covers toxicity, exposure and use to assess the environmental, public health and occupational health and safety risk. For more information see the web site www.nicnas.gov.au

Further information

Nick Miller, NICNAS, (02) 8577 8810 or 0407 228 285