New framework for assessing chemicals

A NEW framework for assessing tens of thousands of industrial chemicals currently being used in Australia was launched on Friday.

Reports by the National Toxics Network late last year revealed more than 38,000 chemicals already being used in Australia had not been assessed by the regulator.

The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) was created to assess chemicals and provide advice, but when new regulations were introduced, thousands of chemicals were allowed to continue being used without assessment, under a grand-father clause.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health Catherine King said the new framework would provide a faster, more flexible and transparent way of assessing the health and environmental impacts of such chemicals.

Over the next four years, the framework will consider about 3000 chemicals which were already identified by NICNAS as priority for assessment.

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