HARMONISATION ACTIVITIES

Quantity

  NICNAS participates in two international programs related to the safety
assessment and risk management of existing chemicals. These are the IPCS
Concise International Chemical Assessment Document (CICAD) activity, and
the OECDís Screening Information Data Set (SIDS) Program. A description
of these programs is provided in Appendix 08.

One IPCS CICAD meeting and two OECD SIDS meetings were held during
2003-04. The number of chemical assessments presented at these forums,
and the number approved following peer review of the assessments
by member countries, are shown in Table 12, along with four-year trend data.
This year saw an increase in both the numbers of chemicals assessments
agreed to at these forums (124) and the number reviewed by NICNAS (61),
compared to the previous three years.

In 2003-04, NICNAS sponsored a group of six chemicals known as
Hydrotrope Surfactants for assessment under the SIDS Program. The
sponsorship was a joint sponsorship with an industry consortium. NICNAS
collected information from Australian industry on the use and exposure to
these chemicals for the assessment, and reviewed the hazard assessment
prepared by the industry consortia. The final draft assessment report
will be considered at the 19th SIDS Initial Assessment Meeting (SIAM)
in October 2004.

In 2003-04, NICNAS continued assessment work on perfluorinated
chemicals such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic
acid (PFOA). This work was conducted in parallel with related OECD
activities such as the completion of the OECD hazard assessment
of PFOS (which NICNAS contributed to by way of expert peer review).

NICNAS prepared a questionnaire on behalf of the OECD on production,
import, and use and exposure information on PFOS and PFOS-related
substances, PFOA and other perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFAS) chemicals
which may be used as alternatives to PFOS. The results of the questionnaire
will be analysed by NICNAS and are scheduled for presentation at the 37th
OECD Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and the Working Party
on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology.

Additionally, NICNAS published information on reported essential uses
identified to date for PFOS in Australia and sought information from States
and Territories on PFOS waste disposal options. A compilation of the advice
from States and Territories is scheduled for publication in 2004-05. NICNAS
continues to liaise with international regulatory bodies regarding the issue
of PFOA and telomers that degrade to PFOA.

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Efficiency

  Co-operative international activity on existing chemical assessment helps
to avoid duplication of efforts between countries in testing chemicals for the
fulfilment of various national and regional requirements and international
commitments. Where they are available, and as part of standard good
practice, international assessments are consulted and utilised when they
are relevant to NICNASís chemical assessments.

Participation in international assessment programs improves
the effectiveness of our assessments by ensuring that our assessments
are of world standard, incorporating the latest scientific knowledge
and developments in assessment methodology.

 

 
 

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