International Programme for Chemical Safety
The IPCS is a cooperative programme of the WHO, the ILO and UNEP. It was established following the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment, which recommended that programmes should be undertaken for the early warning and prevention of harmful effects of chemicals to which humans are exposed.
The two main roles of the IPCS are to establish the scientific basis for the safe use of chemicals and to provide technical assistance in strengthening national capabilities and capacities for the sound management of chemicals. There are four focal areas for this work: the
- evaluation of chemical risks to human health;
- poisons information, prevention and management activities;
- chemical incidents and emergencies, including public-health preparedness, response, prevention and surveillance; and
- capacity-building and technology transfer.
through a network of governmental and non-governmental institutions, which are designated "Participating Institutions". In addition, all countries are encouraged to designate National Focal Points, through which the results of the work of the IPCS may be disseminated and guidance may be given to the Programme on the needs and views of the country.
Environmental Health Criteria (EHCs); Concise International Chemical Assessment Documents (CICADs),; International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs); Poisons Information Antidote Monographs and Pesticide Safety Data Sheets. All documents are available on the IPCS website and also on CD-ROM products, IPCS INCHEM and IPCS INTOX. The IPCS INCHEM database is also accessible online free of charge.