Issue Date: February 27, 2012
Earlier Assessment Sought For Chemicals
New chemicals and technologies need to be comprehensively assessed before they reach the commercialization phase, according to a report from the UN Environment Program. Given the increasing pace of deployment, the world needs to break its pattern of first producing new technologies and chemicals and then trying to evaluate their impacts after the fact, the report says. Released last week, the report ranks minimizing risks from new chemicals and technologies as one of the top 10 emerging environmental issues that could have a major impact on human well-being and the planet. A reformed international system “could help society handle the inadvertent hazards caused by its novel technologies,” the report says. The report also highlights the need to repair “broken bridges” between science and policy-making to help develop solutions to environmental problems and to adapt to global change while attaining a green economy.
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