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Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution today invited written evidence on key issues for its wide-ranging study on the long-term effects of chemicals in the environment.
The Commission has been scoping the study over the last year, and today's invitation, requesting responses by the end of January, marks the beginning of its work in earnest. The central aim of the study is to analyse the key issues and make recommendations designed to reduce the chance that the chemicals we use will cause long-term damage to the natural environment or human health.
The Commission's progress during the scoping of the study is summarised in the invitation. The Commission believes that the current regulatory regimes for assessing and controlling the risks associated with chemical use are largely ineffective. The big question is can they be improved, or should alternative approaches be adopted?
The primary focus of the study will be on how decisions are taken about chemical use and/or control. While the Commission may wish to use case studies to illustrate various points, individual chemicals and their uses are not the primary focus.
The study is being conducted against a backdrop of serious national and international concern on the effectiveness of chemical assessment and control programmes. It will seek to address both regulatory and non-regulatory decision-making throughout the whole lifecycle of all types of chemicals that are traded, or incorporated into products, or are substances that derive from such activities.
The invitation sets out some underlying assumptions, before inviting respondents to provide evidence on the implications of a variety of possible guiding principles, concluding with more detailed questions on chemical assessment and control.
The Commission has sent the invitation to a wide range of bodies. The text of the invitation, along with a range of other background documents, is available on the Commission's web site at:
The Commission welcomes responses from anyone who wishes to contribute. This can be done in one of two ways:
NOTE FOR EDITORS:
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution is an independent standing body. Its terms of reference are to advise on matters, both national and international, concerning the pollution of the environment; the adequacy of research in this field; and the future possibilities of danger to the environment. The Chairman is Sir Tom Blundell FRS. Members of the Commission are appointed by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister and serve part time.
The decision to study the long-term effects of chemicals in the environment was announced last October. Since then the Commission has: considered the views of the 44 organisations that responded to the announcement; met with a variety of experts in the field; commissioned a literature review of people's values on chemicals; and hosted a seminar on fresh approaches to chemical use and control. Details of all these activities are available on the Commission's website.
The contact for all enquiries about this news release is:
Rosemary Ferguson, RCEP, 11 Tothill St, London SW1H 9RE, tel. 020 7273 6637, e-mail email@example.com
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