Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), representing 30 developed countries, devised a voluntary testing program to accelerate the collection of a standard base set of toxicology and environmental fate data on high production volume (HPV) existing chemicals — those produced in quantities of over 1,000 (metric) tonnes per year. Dow scientists participated in the design of this program, and Dow remains committed to its success.
The objective of the investigation of existing chemicals is to share the costs among member countries. These countries and their respective chemical industries gather information, test and carry out initial assessments of HPV chemicals to identify those for which further action may be necessary.
The OECD Screening Information Data Set (SIDS) program was initiated at the end of the 1980’s to provide hazard screening information on HPV chemicals within the OECD community. The program required OECD member countries to provide a common set of hazard and chemical/physical property information (SIDS data set) for review to determine if the chemical represented a low priority for further work at the time of review, or if more hazard information were necessary. The SIDS hazard information and the conclusion of the SIDS review were documented and made available to the public and other governments through the United Nations Environment Programme (now posted on UNEP website).
The OECD program includes a data set covering roughly 17 elements (including physical/chemical properties, ecological toxicity, environmental fate and health) as an appropriate screening set for HPV chemicals.
For many reasons the historical OECD SIDS program, managed and owned by OECD member country authorities under the OECD Secretariat, did not meet expectations. After nearly a decade, only 300 chemicals had completed the SIDS process. Authorities in the EU, Canada, Japan and the US were dissatisfied with the pace of OECD SIDS output. The OECD program has achieved some successes, but has been criticized for being too slow; thus, voluntary initiatives such as the ICCA HPV initiative and the EPA HPV Chemical Challenge were launched and have greatly accelerated the pace at which HPV chemicals have been evaluated.
For additional information: OECD Cooperation on the Investigation of Existing Chemicals.