On February 22, 2021, a group of academic scientists from the International Panel on Chemical Pollution (IPCP) announced the publication of their article in the renowned journal Science calling for the creation of a global science-policy body focused on addressing chemicals and waste. “We need international cooperation to address issues that transcend borders, such as the harms of heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, and plastic wastes,” said lead author Zhanyun Wang, a Senior Scientist at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. “This is critical for developed and developing countries where developing countries are the world’s dumping grounds for toxics.”

In the article, the authors “explain how limited and fragmented science-policy interactions on chemicals and waste have contributed to widespread health and environmental problems.” In February 2020, Wang led a study finding three times as many chemicals are registered across global markets than previously estimated (FPF reported). Their data also shows that global chemical sales are predicted to almost double by 2030, and the increasing variety of chemicals in use are a growing concern, especially for those with problematic properties such as being persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic, or endocrine disrupting. To address this expanding use and the many human and environmental health issues already associated with chemical exposures, the scientists “urge that a global intergovernmental science-policy body for chemicals and waste is necessary.”

Wang explains that “a new science-policy body will provide a scientific basis for international and national action on chemicals and waste by conducting authoritative scientific assessments, identifying emerging concerns, and connecting policy makers and scientists. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and we hope the governments around the world will take this critical step toward a pollution-free planet.”

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IPCP (February 18, 2021). “Academic Scientists Call for a New Global Science-Policy Body.”


Wang, Z et al. (February 19, 2021). “We need a global science-policy body on chemicals and waste.” Science