The societal risk aspects of chemical safety have become a focal point of concern for the public, governments, and the chemical industry. This concern stems from the increasing awareness of the vast number of chemicals present in everyday life, such as in household products, foods, and workplaces. Some of these chemicals have been linked to diseases or adverse health outcomes, prompting a rise in public concern. Responding to this, governments and the chemical industry, both at national and international levels, have been advancing their efforts in response to the growing scientific knowledge and public apprehension.
Efforts are being made to identify chemicals that pose the greatest health risks. This involves a detailed and rigorous scientific assessment to ensure accurate identification. Following identification, there are steps being taken to implement measures and protocols. These measures aim to prevent excessive public exposure to these hazardous chemicals. They encompass a range of strategies, from regulatory changes to public awareness campaigns, and involve various stakeholders, including scientists, policy-makers, and public health experts.
The approach to managing chemical safety is multifaceted. It includes not only the identification and regulation of hazardous substances but also a broader consideration of how these chemicals interact with social determinants of health. For example, the impact of chemicals in the workplace or in consumer products may vary significantly based on a variety of factors, including socioeconomic status, occupation, and geographic location. Recognizing these complexities is crucial in developing a comprehensive approach to chemical safety.
Furthermore, there is an increasing emphasis on international cooperation and harmonization of chemical safety standards. This is due to the global nature of chemical production and distribution, making it imperative for countries to work together to ensure consistent and effective safety measures.
RSI experience in Chemical safety
In our efforts at RSI, we have been actively engaged in numerous projects focusing on the identification, assessment, and management of chemical risks. Our team, comprising toxicologists and risk assessors, has conducted in-depth literature reviews on various chemicals, including endocrine-disruptive chemicals and manganese. We have played a key role in developing use profiles for carcinogenic substances as part of the federal Chemicals Management Program.
One of our significant undertakings was a study aimed at building a public health approach to chemicals management. This project was expansive, incorporating a wide range of exposures and social determinants to assess the health impacts of chemicals more comprehensively.
In addition to these research-focused endeavors, we have also reviewed and analyzed chemical management practices across different global jurisdictions. This included a study on international regulatory strategies for managing hazardous consumer products in workplaces, involving a comprehensive international legislation scan in six countries, along with three case studies on worker exposure to consumer chemicals.
Moreover, we conducted a major international review of best practices for reducing exposure to high hazard substances. This involved examining strategies in five countries and various international organizations, providing us with a broad perspective on effective approaches to chemical safety.
Another area where we have made significant contributions is in understanding public perceptions. For instance, we conducted a study on the public's perception of aluminum in consumer products. Based on our findings, we developed a series of information sheets to provide accurate and clear information about the use of aluminum in these products.
Through all these initiatives, we at RSI have demonstrated our commitment to a comprehensive and multifaceted approach to chemical safety, contributing valuable insights and expertise to this critical field.