A new framework to provide a faster, more flexible and transparent approach to assessing the impact of industrial chemicals on human health and the environment has been launched by the Federal Government.

The Inventory Multi-tiered Assessment and Prioritisation (IMAP) framework has been designed to accelerate the assessment of industrial chemicals..

It uses a staged approach to look at the impact of unassessed industrial chemicals listed on Australia’s national inventory, the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS).

The  framework has been developed by the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), the Australian Government regulator for industrial chemicals, in consultation with community, industry and government stakeholder groups.

The IMAP framework will be implemented in stages. Stage one which began on 1 July this year, will run over four years and see the assessment of about 3,000 chemicals on Australia’s national inventory that have been identified as priorities for early consideration.

They are chemicals for which NICNAS already holds information about their quantity or use in Australia, chemicals identified as a concern or for which regulatory action has been taken overseas, and chemicals reported in international studies analysing the blood in babies’ umbilical cords.

Stage one will also include an external review of the framework, which is expected to make recommendations on the most efficient and effective approach to assessing and prioritising the remainder of the chemicals on the national inventory.