The Environment Health and Safety Programme of OECD

The OECD Member Countries, many partner countries and other stakeholders (including industry and NGOs) work together in the frame of the Environment Health and Safety Programme (EHS) to develop and co-ordinate activities on chemical safety and biosafety on an international basis.

Objectives of the Programme

  • to assist OECD Member countries' efforts to protect human health and the environment through improving chemical safety and biosafety
  • to make chemical control policies more transparent and efficient and save resources for government and industry
  • to prevent unnecessary distortions in the trade of chemicals, chemical products and products of modern biotechnology

The EHS Programme is overseen by the Chemicals and Biotechnology Committee (CBC) (Italian delegate: Gabriele Aquilina, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, National Center for Chemicals, Cosmetics and Consumer Protection).

The delegations attending the CBC represent the OECD Member States and the Commission of the European Union; moreover, as observers, without voting right: Countries that are undergoing the accession process; some stakeholders’ organisations accredited at OECD: BIAC (Business and Industry Advisory Committee), TUAC (Trade Union Advisory Committee), EEB (European Environmental Bureau), ICAPO (International Council on Animal Protection in OECD Programmes).

The CBC usually convenes in the OECD premises in Paris every nine months (since March 2020 the meeting are temporarely held via web, due to the Covid-19 emergency).

The CBC works in close collaboration with the Environment Policy Committee – EPOC, in particular concerning the interface between chemical safety and waste policies.

The CBC works through 12 sub-bodies: