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A Toxics-Free Future


COVID-19 and Chemical Usage in Jamaica

This project, carried out by Caribbean Poison Information Network (CARPIN), sought to propel the government to review the current standards for household chemicals and develop a chemical policy. CARPIN studied current chemicals-related regulations in Jamaica, which chemicals are not regulated, and which relevant international conventions / frameworks Jamaica is a Party to. CARPIN also launched a survey to determine which chemicals were being used during the pandemic.

At the conclusion of the project, CARPIN prepared the following recommendations:

  1. Implement more robust chemical policies and include cleaning and sanitizing chemicals for domestic, industrial, and institutional use. The policies should provide scope for standardizing labels, packaging, and distributing chemicals to consumers, providing all the required information critical to health and safety.
  2. Regulate the local retail chemical industry to create standardized packaging, labeling and distribution of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting chemicals. This will prevent the mis-identity of chemicals packaged in food look-alike containers.
  3. Ensure that the GHS guides the standards for household chemicals, showing distinctions between commercially and domestically-used household products.
  4. Improve the accidental poisoning surveillance system to include data from both public and private care facilities.
  5. Establish a national database of chemicals imported and manufactured for risk and emergency assessment.
  6. Conduct random sampling for all local and imported chemicals to detect toxic substances or sub-standard ingredients.

This project relates to Sustainable Development Goals 3, 6, 12, 14 and 15.

Special thanks to IPEN's Latin America & Caribbean Regional Coordinator Fernando Bejarano and Regional Hub RAPAM for their important contributions to the development and finalization of the project.

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