Faster Assessment of the Impact of Industrial Chemicals

Recently, Catherine King, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, welcomed the launch of a framework to provide a faster, more flexible and transparent approach to assessing the impact of industrial chemicals on human health and the environment. “The Inventory Multi-tiered Assessment and Prioritisation (IMAP) framework has been designed to accelerate the assessment of industrial chemicals,” Ms King said. “It uses a staged approach to look at the impact of unassessed industrial chemicals listed on Australia’s national inventory, the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS). “This framework has been developed by the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), the Australian Government regulator for industrial chemicals, in consultation with community, industry and government stakeholder groups.” It provides an innovative approach to the assessment of the large number of chemicals listed on the national inventory. “The faster assessment of existing chemicals will lead to enhanced chemical safety information flow and chemical management.” The IMAP framework was launched at NICNAS’s ‘Assessing Chemicals: Innovating for Impact’ forum in Sydney. The forum brings together prominent international and national experts to discuss the themes of innovation and impact in the assessment and management of chemicals. The gathering will give participants the opportunity to gain an understanding of the international context of IMAP. The IMAP framework will be implemented in stages. Stage one which began on 1 July this year, will run over four years and see the assessment of about 3,000 chemicals on Australia’s national inventory that have been identified as priorities for early consideration. They are chemicals for which NICNAS already holds information about their quantity or use in Australia, chemicals identified as a concern or for which regulatory action has been taken overseas, and chemicals reported in international studies analysing the blood in babies’ umbilical cords. In addition, stage one will include an external review of the framework, which is expected to make recommendations on the most efficient and effective approach to assessing and prioritising the remainder of the chemicals on the national inventory.

Department of Health & Aging, 20 July 2012 ; ;