SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
5 October 2017
Volume 18 Issue 10

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SETAC Symposium on Chemicals Risk Assessment and Management Needs for Asia-Pacific

Kuan Chun Lee, Procter & Gamble, Singapore and Chris Schlekat, NiPERA, Durham, NC

The SETAC International Programs Committee together with SETAC Asia-Pacific organized a symposium on “Chemicals Risk Assessment Approach and Needs for the Asia-Pacific Region” last year in conjunction with their geographic unit meeting. The report from the Chemicals Risk Assessment Approach and Needs for the Asia-Pacific Region symposium is now available on the SETAC website together with all the presentations given that day. In summary, regulatory experts from six countries in the region shared the current status and key challenges of their country chemical management framework. SETAC global experts discussed the best practices of chemical risk assessment and management as well as their applications. After the presentations, a discussion period was facilitated. Through tripartite discussion, the symposium provided insights from both the regulators and the regulated points of view.

After identifying the challenges faced by regulators, as well as academics and business leaders, the following solutions were proposed:

  1. Harmonization of risk-based assessment approaches that allow for country-specific considerations
  2. Collaboration on exposure and effects data gathering and sharing mechanisms among countries in the Asia-Pacific region
  3. Further, to satisfy the added challenge of language barriers, a clear request from business representatives was to ensure that country-specific guidance and information is available in English

Based on the discussion, the following areas for potential future collaboration between experts who conduct regulatory risk assessment across sectors and regions were identified:

  • Development of data quality standards for both exposure and effect assessments
  • Advancement and harmonization of toxicity test methods with a focus on endemic species
  • Development of country and regional exposure assessment models and tools
  • Use of weight-of-evidence approaches in risk-based ecological assessment
  • Application of advanced Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) modeling
  • Discussion on approaches to define common environmental protection goals where possible
  • Refinement of methods used for scientific derivation of environmental quality benchmarks (e.g., water quality criteria, sediment quality guidelines, safety standards of chemical contaminants, etc.)

The committee organized another symposium in September 2017 on Chemicals Risk Assessment and Management in Latin America, which was held in Santos, Brazil.  

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