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Industrial Chemicals and the Rotterdam Convention

While chemicals may be used in a wide variety of applications, there are four major use categories:

  • pesticides, which are used by governments, industry and individual consumers in a wide range of pest control applications (e.g., agriculture, forestry, water treatment, public health management (e.g., disease vector control), wood treatment, etc.);
  • food additives, which are introduced into foodstuffs during processing and manufacturing operations;
  • pharmaceuticals, which are included in products for human and veterinary applications; and
  • industrial chemicals, which are used in formulations, articles and other products for applications other than as pesticides, food additives or pharmaceutical products.
Both pesticides and industrial chemicals have been included in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention because they have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by Parties to the Convention. Of the chemicals listed in Annex III, 29 are pesticides (including 4 severely hazardous pesticide formulations) and 11 are industrial chemicals (click here to view table)

Party needs

While most countries have review and regulatory programs for pesticides, food additives and pharmaceuticals, many lack similar programs for industrial chemicals or do not have comprehensive programs to address the full range of hazards and risks posed by these chemicals (e.g., for uses in industry, consumer products, etc.).


COP4 Decision RC-4/12 (“Financing and budget for the triennium 2009–2011”) includes two priority activities; Priority activities 7 and 24 (click
here to view) to address industrial chemicals within the overall program of work for 2009-2011.

A - Secretariat Activities

The secretariat, in implementing its workplan for 2009-2011 is conducting a series of collaborative activities to strengthen the capacity of Parties to manage industrial chemicals, with the objective of enabling Parties to achieve an equivalent level of performance in managing industrial chemicals to the one that exists at the national level for the management of agricultural chemicals.

1. Strategic plan - Click here.

2. Checklist -
Click here.

3. Technical Assistance -
Click here.

4. Legal framework on industrial chemicals -
Click here.

B - Key partners
  • Secretariat of the Stockholm Convention
  • Secretariat of the Basel Convention
  • UNEP Chemicals
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • United Nations Institute for Training And Research (UNITAR)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Other IOMC organizations 



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