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  Chemistry and the Human Health Division (VII)

Clinical Chemistry Section

Commission on Toxicology

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Summary of Minutes of Commission Meeting at IUPAC General Assembly, Berlin, Germany, 8—10 August 1999

Eleven members of the Commission on Toxicology (VII.C.2) met for three days during the 40th General Assembly in Berlin.

Reports were given by Chairman Dr. John H. Duffus and by members of the commission who served on the scientific advisory committees of the following IUPAC-sponsored scientific meetings and proceedings: 1st International Conference on Trace Element Speciation in Biomedical, Nutritional, and Environmental Sciences (4—7 May 1998, Munich, Germany); 5th International Symposium on Metal Ions (Munich, Germany); and 15th International Conference on Chemical Education (9—14 August 1998; the first in Africa, during which a presentation on the Curriculum on Toxicology was given as part of the Clinical Chemistry Symposium). A short report on the Cairo Conference Symposium, "Tertiary Vocational Training in Chemistry Related to Health Care", prepared by Dr. Howard G. J. Worth, has been published in Chemistry International, Vol. 20, No. 6, pp. 171—172, 1998.

The ongoing projects "Biological Monitoring for Exposure to VOCs" (IUPAC Recommendations 2000, Pure and Applied Chemistry, Vol. 72, No. 3, pp. 385— 436, 2000), "Exposure Assessment and Decision Rules in Compliance Testing for Implementation of Exposure Limits", "Exposure Assessment Using the Logbook Method", "Risk Assessment Methodology", "Educational Material", and "Modeling Outdoor Exposure and Risk Assessment of Particulate Matter" are most likely to be completed by 2001. As a joint project agreed with the Committee on Teaching of Chemistry (CTC) at the General Assembly in Geneva in 1997 and previously discussed in Cairo in 1998, Dr. Duffus has prepared a draft of "Toxicology: An Introduction" for use as a resource in school chemistry courses. The final version has been circulated within the CTC and Commission VII.C.2 and was discussed during a joint meeting with the CTC in Berlin.

About 120 pages of educational material will be made available to download from the Internet, possibly from a Commission VII.C.2 web site, as a PowerPoint presentation that can easily be adapted to other languages. The material aims at courses on an introductory level (e.g., teaching at high schools) and might be especially useful for developing countries. From the discussion with the CTC, the need for a hard copy version was expressed, with the addition of case studies, (e.g., current cases of public concern). Material for a toxicology course is already available via the Internet at http://www.med.ed.ac.uk/hew/tox/ default.htm.

Cooperation with the International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS) will continue, as outlined at the 1997 meeting in Geneva with Dr. Mercier. An advanced toxicology textbook for schools is in the process of publication by IPCS following a review stage. Further cooperation with Commission VII.C.2 is appreciated by IPCS; the "IUPAC Glossary on Terms in Toxicology" has been used in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and IPCS project on risk assessment harmonization. Dr. Duffus represented IUPAC as an observer at the IPCS Program Advisory Meeting in Berlin, 5—8 October 1998 (see Chemistry International, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 7—10, 2000). He also became a member of a team convened by the European Regional Office of WHO to harmonize environmental health terms used in papers prepared for the meeting of European Ministers of Health and Environment in London in 1999. Dr. Duffus has been contacted about an interface session during the World Conference of IUTOX with participation by Commission VII.C.2. From the suggested topics, exposure assessment was regarded as most appropriate. A proposal for a half-day symposium consisting of four lectures and a joint chair (IUTOX + IUPAC) was formulated.

The Commission discussed the new system to be implemented by IUPAC, with regard to the effect of its future project-driven structure and function on possible new Commission VII.C.2 projects. The need for new input and activities and projects directed toward chemistry and human health was emphasized. Commission VII C.2 will continue with three ongoing projects and presented proposals for seven new projects, which have been generated during the General Assembly in Berlin, partly through interdivisional discussions. The seven new projects are listed below:

  • Criteria for assessment and quality assurance of material to be presented on the Internet under the auspices of IUPAC. CTC and the Committee on Printed and Electronic Publications (CPEP) are suggested coordinators. (Project proposal by Dr. Duffus)
  • Exposure assessment. IUPAC minisymposium within the 9 th IUTOX Conference in Brisbane, 8—13 July 2001 (Coordinator: Dr. Duffus).
  • Educational material for teaching chemistry related to case studies for risk assessment in toxicology. Senior high school level, in addition to the ongoing project "Toxicology: An Introduction" (Coordinator: Dr. Duffus; joint project with CTC).
  • Modeling human exposure in the workplace (Coordinator: Dr. Erik Olsen).
  • Exposure assessment for neurochemically active metals/manganese species (Coordinator: Dr. Jytte M. Christensen; participants: Prof. Douglas M. Templeton, Ingvar Thomassen, Dr. Erik Olsen, Harry Roels).
  • Immunochemistry in metal exposure, possibly with a focus on nickel and beryllium (Coordinator: Prof. Douglas M. Templeton; participants: Dr. Regine Heinrich-Ramm and Dr. Jytte Molin Christensen).
  • Conference on risk assessment of particulate matter, with a focus on fibers. The proceedings will be published as a monograph (Coordinator: Prof. R. P. Nolan).

Dr. Duffus will continue as chairman, Prof. Douglas M. Templeton will become secretary, and Dr. Erik Olsen and Prof. Monica Nordberg are new Titular Members. Dr. Birger Heinzow became secretary of the Division. Prof. Dr. Laszlo Nagymajényi and Dr. Jytte Molin Christensen will be new Associate Members. New associate members will be contacted by the secretary, informed about ongoing activities, and invited to join existing projects and to generate and propose new projects.

The Commission met again 28 September—1 October 2000 in Szeged, Hungary.

Birger Heinzow
Secretary, IUPAC Commission on Toxicology VII.C.2

> Published in Chem. Int. 22(6), 2000

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