Conventions on Hazardous Substances

The Hazardous material or Hazmats are the solids, liquids and gases which can harm people, organisms, property and environment. The Hazardous Materials are often subject to various legislations. The Hazmats may be radioactive, flammable, explosive, corrosive, oxidizing, asphyxiating, biohazardous, toxic, pathogenic, or allergenic.

International Programme on Chemical Safety

This programme was launched in 1980 by three UN bodies viz.  WHO, ILO and UNEP. The idea was to establish the basis of safe use of the chemicals and strengthen the national capabilities for chemical safety. WHO publishes some awareness documents on toxicological properties of the chemical substances under this programme.

Rotterdam Convention on Hazardous Substances

The most important international convention in context with the Hazmats is “Rotterdam Convention” on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade”. This is a non-legally binding convention that promotes shared responsibilities in relation to importation of hazardous chemicals. It promotes open exchange of information, proper labelling, include directions on safe handling, and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans.

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