OECD Revises Decision-Recommendation on Co-operative Investigation and Risk Reduction of Chemicals

Posted on: August 31, 2018

OECD Decision-Recommendation

by Caroline Miller, CIH, CSP

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has recently adopted a revision of the Decision-Recommendation of the Council on the Co-operative Investigation and Risk Reduction of Chemicals. This revision – adopted on May 25, 2018 – replaces the 1991 Decision-Recommendation of the Council.

What is contained in the Decision-Recommendation?

The Decision-Recommendation is composed of two parts:

  • Part A focuses on co-operative investigation and assessment, including the development of harmonized hazard and exposure assessment methodologies for chemicals. This will also include methodologies to prioritize chemicals for regulatory consideration. Recommendations include considering the risks arising from the combined exposure to multiple chemicals; the elaboration of integrated approaches including harmonized testing strategies; and the regulatory applicability and identification of areas of uncertainty which need to be accounted for, especially when assessing hazards of potentially higher concern such as carcinogenicity, mutagenicity or toxicity for reproduction or the combination of persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity. In addition, Part A emphasizes making information publicly available, using the results of other countries’ investigations, and sharing the burden of data generation and access to information on chemicals.
  • Part B focuses on risk prevention and reduction, including the establishment and strengthening of national risk reduction programs, the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling, sharing classifications derived according to the GHS, the undertaking of concerted activities to prevent or reduce the risks of chemicals taking into account a life-cycle perspective and the sharing of best practices regarding risk management approaches including socioeconomic assessment.

Another key element is that all references to “chemicals” will include bulk form and nanoforms of chemicals, including manufactured nanomaterials.

What are the implications of this adoption?

With this Decision-Recommendation, Adherents (OECD members and non-members having adhered to this Decision-Recommendation) are now required to make GHS mandatory. Two of the thirty-six-member countries that yet need to implement GHS are Israel and Peru.

Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia are the four of the ten non-member countries that still need to implement GHS.

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Useful Information

Decision-Recommendation of the Council on the Co-operative Investigation and Risk Reduction of Chemicals


OECD, GHS, Hazard Assessment, Exposure Assessment, Risk Reduction, Decision-Recommendation


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