In December 2019, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a progress report on chemical and biosafety. The report outlines the organization’s ongoing projects in various fields including methodologies for hazard and exposure assessment, nanomaterials, development of test guidelines, plastics in the circular economy, expansion of the eChem Portal, and risk reduction. As reported by news provider Chemical Watch, the OECD announced in the report that it is continuing work on analyzing methods to estimate the economic benefits and costs of regulating chemicals. The effort aims to identify best practices to assess such benefits and costs through a series of studies including on the willingness of citizens to pay to avoid certain adverse health and environmental impacts.

Eeva Leinala from the OECD told Chemical Watch that “it was determined that for many different health effects, we don’t actually have the economic information that is needed in order to do a good cost-benefit assessment. So, this study will look at different health impacts, and do surveys of the public to determine the willingness to pay to avoid certain health impacts.” A set of five initial morbidity endpoints are reported to have been identified for the study, including: asthma, IQ loss, low and very low birthweight, kidney failure and disease, and fertility loss. The first draft survey instruments using these endpoints were created at a workshop held in September 2019, and they are set to be finalized in the second half of 2020.


OECD (December 2019). “Chemical Safety and Biosafety Progress Report.” (pdf)

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Ginger Hervey (January 30, 2020). “OECD plans surveys to quantify benefits of chemicals regulation.” Chemical Watch