Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM)

SAICM is a policy framework that promotes international action on chemical hazards to ensure that, by the year 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health.

World Health Assembly resolution WHA69.4 on the role of the health sector in SAICM urged Member States to take full account of the health aspects of chemical safety in the national implementation of SAICM, and requested WHO’s Director-General to facilitate its implementation by the health sector, focusing on human health. The WHO chemicals road map agreed by the Seventieth World Health Assembly in 2017 sets up a framework for action to ensure SAICM implementation in and by the health sector to 2020 and beyond.

At the regional level WHO/Europe is assisting countries addressing the health aspects of chemical safety in the national framework of SAICM implementation by contributing to strengthening the engagement of the health sector in chemicals management.

WHO/Europe’s work addresses many of the emerging issues flagged by the International Conference on Chemicals Management and recognized by SAICM stakeholders, which include:

  • lead in paint;
  • chemicals in products;
  • hazardous substances within the life-cycle of electrical and electronic products;
  • nanotechnologies and manufactured nanomaterials;
  • endocrine-disrupting chemicals;
  • environmentally persistent pharmaceutical pollutants.