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Chemical industry committed to implement action plan on safe chemicals management in developing countries.

Director Dr Udo Oels, Member of the Management Board of Bayer AG, will announce the commitment of the international chemical industry to develop and implement an action plan to improve safety in the handling and use of chemicals with focus on developing countries.

This will take place at a side event of the WSSD organised by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) on the afternoon of Friday 30th August in the Hilton Hotel Sandton, in the presence of the Honourable Rejoyce Mabudafhasi, Deputy Minister Environmental Affairs and Tourism, South Africa, Mr Henrique Cavalcanti President, IFCS and Mr Marcel Boisard, Executive Director of UNITAR and Assistant Director General of the United Nations.

This global capacity building action plan for safe chemical management is being developed by the chemical industry at international and national level.

In developing its international approach, the ICCA is consulting with international organisations, such as UNITAR, UNEP and IFCS as potential partners.

As part of its preparation for the Summit and as a basis of the action plan, the ICCA has undertaken national case studies in South Africa and Brazil in partnership with government and other groups. The findings of these pilot projects will assist in the development of a more detailed international plan. (For more detail see attached Summary Section)

Dr Oels says, “The global chemical industry is fully committed to improve chemical safety globally. The industry’s Responsible Care® initiative, which now has programmes in 47 countries, has been the foundation of the industry’s success in improving its environmental, health and safety performance.”

“Implementation of Responsible Care® has also resulted in upgrades in national EH&S standards particularly in developing countries. However, there are still many challenges ahead which we believe can only be achieved through close partnership between all committed stakeholders.”


Contacts for further information in Johannesburg are:

For ICCA and the side event Richard Robson +32 478 252898
For CAIA Laurraine Lotter 083 3264139
For ABIQUIM Marcelo Kos 082 8588555

For further information about ICCA contact:

Mara Caboara +32 2 676 7217
Marc Devisscher +32 2 676 7223

Summary of Pilot Studies

South African Pilot Study

In South Africa, the Chemical and Allied Industries’ Association (CAIA) developed a questionnaire to guide interviews with key groups, including government representatives, labour organisations, NGOs and customers on their concerns about chemical hazards and their suggestions for improvement. The outcome of the study revealed that information sharing, the accessibility of product information, the safe use of chemicals along the product chain, risk management and emergency response were important to them. These subjects have been consolidated into a set of projects to be implemented over the next two years by the CAIA in partnership with stakeholders, with support coming from the ICCA.

Brazilian Pilot Study

In Brazil, ABIQUIM, the Brazilian chemical industry association and the University of Brazilia, developed a web site-based questionnaire including subjects covering availability of information about chemicals, education and training courses on how to handle them, the resourcing of work related to chemicals safety, and how technology can be successfully applied. This was sent to over 600 chemical companies, 200 government agencies at national and state levels and to departments of the 12 major universities in Brazil that have chemical related interests. The results show that chemical companies are now taking the lead in chemicals safety management in an integrated way working closely together with government. The results will be used to develop an action plan under the auspices of the National Commission on Chemicals Safety (COPASQ).