Media Release - MINISTER DECLARES REVIEW OF
05 Mar 2002
The Minister for Health and Ageing has declared formaldehyde a priority
existing chemical (PEC) for full assessment. The National Industrial
Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) will conduct the
The assessment will determine the risk of adverse effects to the
environment, workers and the public in Australia, by identifying the
health and environmental hazards of formaldehyde and the potential for
exposure in Australia. Recommendations on ways to reduce any identified
risks will be made.
Formaldehyde is widely used in Australia, mainly in resins during
furniture and textile manufacturing and to a lesser extent as a
preservative in cleaning and cosmetic products. It is also emitted as a
result of industrial processes.
NICNAS is seeking information from anyone who may have information
relevant to the assessment of formaldehyde. Information should be
provided by 4 June 2002.
Companies who wish to manufacture or import formaldehyde during the
period of the PEC review are required to apply to NICNAS, before 5 April
The full text of the notice of declaration, which was published in the
Chemical Gazette today.
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
Nick Miller, NICNAS, (02) 8577 8810 or 0407 228 285