WHO Launches Chemical Risk Assessment Network

"Enhanced global efforts are needed to share expertise, to assess, and to manage the risks associated with exposure to hazardous chemicals," according to the agency.

The World Health Organization announced its launch of a new, voluntary chemical risk assessment network on July 1. While chemicals are vital to humanity, some can cause harm to human health, and chemical exposures are linked to the global burden of disease, according to WHO, which reports the production and use of chemicals continues to rise worldwide, particularly in rapidly developing economies.

With all of this in mind, "enhanced global efforts are needed to share expertise, to assess, and to manage the risks associated with exposure to hazardous chemicals," according to the agency. "There is a need to identify knowledge gaps and emerging issues, and to provide a forum for scientific exchange and collaboration on risk assessment."

The network, described as a voluntary, collaborative initiative, has these objectives:

  • Provide a forum for scientific and technical exchange
  • Facilitate and contribute to capacity building
  • Promote best practices and the harmonization of methodologies
  • Assist in the identification of research needs and promote the application of new science in risk assessment practice
  • Assist in the identification of emerging risks to human health from chemicals
  • Share information about work programmes to avoid duplication of effort
  • Upon request, assist WHO in the development of training and other materials in support of the above

WHO is inviting institutions that are engaged in human health risk assessment of chemicals to become network participants. For information about becoming a participant, visit this site.

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