NICNAS participates in two international programs related to the safety assessment and risk management of existing chemicals: the IPCS Concise International Chemical Assessment Document (CICAD) activity, and the OECDs Screening Information Data Set (SIDS) Program. A description of these programs is provided in Appendix 11.

One IPCS and two OECD SIDS meetings were attended by NICNAS during 2005-06. 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 14, along with five-year trend data.

In 2005-06, NICNAS completed the assessment of six chemicals hydrotrope surfactants that were jointly assessed with an industry consortium for the OECD HPV program. The assessment report was considered and the recommendations agreed to at the 21 st SIAM meeting.

Table 14: Five-year trend data for participation in international assessment activities for the Existing Chemicals Program

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Number of international assessment meetings attended

3

2

2

3

3

Number of international assessments discussed at meetings

75

85

139

106

139

Number of international assessments reviewed by NICNAS prior to the meetings

45

44

61

59

56

Number of international assessments agreed at the meetings

72

75

124

102

132

In 2005-06, international assessment programs funded a further 132 international peer-reviewed scientific assessments of chemicals, further enhancing the public availability of safety information about existing chemicals.

NICNAS has continued to contribute to international cooperative work on the investigation of the health and environmental effects, production and use of perfluorinated chemicals such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluoroalkyl sulfonate (PFAS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and their related chemical substances.

At the 39 th Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology in February 2006, the OECD agreed to declassify a comprehensive list of these perfluorinated chemicals prepared by NICNAS in 2004-05, preparatory to publication in 2006-07.

Information on current uses of the perfluorinated chemicals in Australia was collected by NICNAS following a call for information published in the Chemical Gazette in March 2006, and the data will inform Australia s response to a new OECD survey on the chemicals to occur in 2006-07. In addition, NICNAS reviewed and provided comments on three Canadian reports on fluorotelomers. The OECD member countries provided very positive feedback on the scientific work by NICNAS, noting the lists would promote the identification of chemicals by member countries and contribute to a global approach on the management of risks posed by these chemicals.

NICNAS is a member of the OECD Steering Group on Manufactured Nanomaterials. This group was established under the auspices of the OECD Joint Meeting of the Chemicals Committee and the Working Party on Chemicals, Pesticides and Biotechnology and has started work in the area of risk assessment of nanomaterials, including international coordination in regulatory approaches, development of assessment methodologies and testing schemes, and information sharing and exchange in risk assessment and management.

NICNAS participated as a member of the IPCS working group that developed a Human Relevance Framework for Cancer. This framework will be a valuable tool for risk assessors, and promote a consistent approach to the analysis of data, which will contribute to international harmonisation of cancer risk assessment. This project contributes to NICNASs commitment to utilise best practice RA methods in its programs.