It is anticipated that the signing of the statement of intent for collaboration between Australia and Canada on Existing Chemicals may lead to co-development of innovative assessment tools and methodologies, exchange of personnel, and, when appropriate, adoption of similar practices and approaches.
A Health Canada official visited NICNAS to explore areas of cooperation in relation to existing chemicals.
A work plan was discussed that covered both strategic issues relating to chemicals management, and technical issues such as sharing expertise in methodologies for undertaking assessments and tools for screening and prioritisation of chemicals for assessment.
Australia and Canada will share information on emerging and topical issues such as nanotechnology and perfluorinated chemicals.
The greater cooperation between the countries has resulted in personnel experienced in assessing existing chemicals from both Health Canada and Environment Canada being seconded to NICNAS.
Further meetings between NICNAS, Health Canada and Environment Canada in June 2008 explored collaboration on existing chemicals, particularly seeking Canadaís assistance regarding its tools and resources used to screen, categorise and prioritise for further assessment chemicals in its national inventory.
Because implementing recommendations of a review of NICNASís Existing Chemicals Program Review has many parallels with work being done in Canada, NICNAS foresees the collaboration producing efficiencies for both countries. A mutual benefit work plan is being drafted.
NICNAS representatives met informally with the Director-General of Environment Canada to discuss extending cooperation between Canada and Australia (NICNAS).
Much of the discussion centred on extension of the Canada-Australia bilateral arrangement to existing industrial chemicals. This is in accordance with one of the recommendations of the NICNAS Existing Chemicals Review and is currently being implemented through development of a joint NICNAS-Canada work plan.
Also discussed was the exchange of information between the Australian and Canadian authorities, especially in regard to the categorisation and screening of existing chemicals in use.
Canada has categorised the 23,000 chemicals on its inventory and NICNAS has recently embarked on a similar exercise under its implementation of the recommendations in the NICNAS Existing Chemicals Review report.