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Chemicals and Development

Health and Economic Benefits of Sound Chemicals Management

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This report explores the social, economic, environmental and health benefits that can be achieved through sound management of chemicals. The report presents a series of case studies of initiatives to improve chemicals management in developing countries or economies in transition. The case studies examine national legislative initiatives as well as on-the-ground projects to educate firms about cleaner production options. It is also looked at the role of bilateral and multilateral development assistance in facilitating adoption of sound chemicals management systems. The report was issued as a draft prior to the adoption of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) by the International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) in February 2006 and has been amended according to inputs after that event.

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Introduction

The production and sale of chemicals accounts for a large and growing proportion of trade world wide. Developing countries play an increasingly important role, both as producers and as users of chemicals. Chemicals cross national boundaries both through trade relationships and by moving through the environment; thus, global coordination is necessary to solve problems of chemical exposure. Binding agreements that have grown out of international collaboration and negotiation on chemicals include the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the Basel Convention on Hazardous Wastes, and the Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent.

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