Universiteit Leiden Universiteit Leiden

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Onderzoeksproject

RiskCycle: Risk-based management of chemicals and products in a circular economy at a global scale

How can we, together international experts, define future needs of R+D contributions for innovations in the field of risk-based management of chemicals and products in a global perspective using alternative testing strategies to minimize animal tests?

Looptijd 2009  -  2012
Contact Ester van der Voet
Financiering European Commission

Many potentially hazardous compounds are traded as chemicals or incorporated as additives in products. Their release to the environment has been a concern of EC, WHO and OECD. The discussion of the assessment and management of chemicals and products led to the OECD program "Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals" (GHS). The World Summit encouraged countries to implement GHS with a view of having the system operating in 2008. 

The need to form GHS on a global scale is part of EU policy. GHS aims to have the same criteria worldwide to classify the responsible trade and handling of chemicals and at the same time protect Human Health. The EU will ensure transition from the current EU Classification & labeling (C+L) to the GHS which harmonizes with REACH. Countries like Japan and the USA announced to implement GHS in the near future. UNITAR supports other countries. However a complete picture on the global state of implementation is not available 

With the growing level of worldwide trade we however face unsafe products on the market. Only last year reports about toys releasing hazardous components made it to headlines. Vietnam reported that all kind of plastic gets recycled and sold back to the market. This shows that global trade in a circular economy is not acceptable without globally agreed assessments and harmonized C+L. 

An ECB study revealed that the EU regulation REACH will require 3.9 million additional test animals. If no alternative methods are accepted. The number of additional tests is unknown when GHS is implemented in a global scale. 

The overall objective of the CA Riskcycle project is to define with international experts future needs of R+D contributions for innovations in the field of risk-based management of chemicals and products in a global perspective using alternative testing strategies to minimize animal tests. The project will include experts from OECD, UNEP, Suschem and country experts from Asia, America and Europe.