Published: Jan 1985
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The last decade has seen the introduction of significant pieces of national legislation to control the use of chemicals and ensure their human and environmental safety. In the last five years the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Program on Chemicals has achieved significant international harmonization of the principles and many of the methods for assessing the potential hazard of chemicals to man and the environment. The mutual acceptance of data between nations using these harmonized methods has also been agreed and will contribute to the avoidance of nontariff barriers to trade and the unnecessary duplication of effort. Despite these achievements, however, the scientific and legislative communities have yet to learn how to communicate fully and effectively. The development of standard methods remains too slow, and too little attention is paid to the validation of methods, which is hindering the international harmonization process. Considerable scope remains for the improvement of the mechanism by which international harmonization is achieved. This should include establishing closer links between the standardization organizations and those developing legislation and deriving an approach that will avoid the premature introduction of research results.
aquatic biology, hazards, legislation, environmental safety, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OEDC), aquatic toxicology, international harmonization, hazard evaluation
Scientist, Unilever Research, Port Sunlight Laboratory, Bebington, Wirral Merseyside