Chemical Watch Briefing Global chemical safety – less talk, more implementation Joe DiGangi, senior science and technical advisor, IPEN
Each year, hundreds of millions of factory and farm workers are injured by accidents, pesticides and industrial chemical exposures – a subset of an even larger population of people exposed to, and affected by, harmful chemicals.
One international agreement that should address the multitude of chemical safety struggles around the world is the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (Saicm). But there is a long way to go to fulfil Saicm’s chemical safety mission.
(Geneva) Delegates to the world’s only international forum addressing global and national chemical issues re-committed to take essential actions to fulfill a goal of sound chemicals management by 2020, but allowed the only program funding activities in the most impacted countries to expire. The USD $4 trillion/year chemical industry, which participates in the conference, also failed to offer new funds to pay their fair share for the costs of chemicals management and harm. A very small global levy on the industry of 0.1% would yield more than USD$4 billion/year.
“ICCM4 agreed to take action on some critical toxic chemical issues,” said Olga Speranskaya, Co-chair of IPEN. “However, a five-year funding gap will make it extremely difficult to implement them. This makes the need for funding urgent. Governments, financial institutions, intergovernmental organizations and the chemical industry must each pay their fair share,” she added.