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Chem HelpDesk user guide for general public
Chem HelpDesk's activities

The International Workshop to Strengthen Capacities for Sound Chemicals Management in South-East Asia Region


Chemical safety and chemicals management is an issue facing all countries in today's world. With the increasing use of chemicals for agriculture, industry and public health, as well as practically all other facets of life, the issue of preventing and/or minimizing negative impacts on health and the environment is a pressing one. The sound management of chemicals, in particular those hazardous to humans and the environment, throughout their life cycle, needs to be assured. Most countries in the South-East Asia region still lack the needed capacity for the sound management of chemicals and there is an increasing need for acquiring better knowledge of chemical safety.

Major efforts by the international community, donors, Secretariats of Multilateral Environmental Agreements and intergovernmental organizations have been made globally, including in countries of South-East Asia, to promote and implement capacity building towards the improvement of chemicals management. Nevertheless, there is still a significant gap between developed and developing countries in this regard. This gap is widening due to reduced capacity, with poorer countries lagging behind the latest developments in the field of chemical safety. There is thus an urgent need to develop and implement complementary processes to strengthen the capability of developing countries for sound chemicals management and for integrating chemical safety issues into broader national development strategies.

The Regional Chemical HelpDesk, or Chem HelpDesk, was set up as a joint initiative of the World Health Organization, Regional Office for South-East Asia and the WHO Collaborating Center for Capacity Building and Research in Environmental Health Science at the Chulabhorn Research Institute, Bangkok, Thailand. Its aim is to further empower countries in the South-East Asia Region (SEAR) to manage the import, manufacture and processing, storage, distribution, transport, use, recycling and disposal of chemicals, in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on the environment and human health. This will be done through provision of basic, cost-free advice on technical questions, sources of expertise, policy guidance, capacity building opportunities, guidelines and funding related to chemical safety and chemicals management through a website, where other general information and links to additional resources will also be provided through the website.

Objectives of the workshop are:

  • Raise awareness about International Health Regulations (IHR), other international agreements and the role of public health;
  • Promote and strengthen the role of public health for the sound management of chemicals, including chemical incidents;
  • Promote the use of the recently developed WHO Human Health Risk Assessment Toolkit;
  • Evaluate the draft WHO Training and Teaching Material for the Public Health Management of Chemical Incidents; and
  • Promote use of the Chem HelpDesk in the implementation of IHR.

Dates, Time and Venue

The International Workshop to Strengthen Capacities for Sound Chemicals Management in South-East Asia Region will take place over 4 days during 24-27 May 2011 at the Chulabhorn Research Institute, Bangkok, Thailand.


No. Title File
1. Programme programme.pdf
2. Guidelines for preparing country presentation presentation_guidelines.pdf
3. List of participants list_of_participants.pdf
4. International workshop report international_workshop_reoport.pdf