Vol. 21, No. 1
Books and Publications
from the World Health Organization
Concise International Chemical Assessment Documents
Concise International Chemical Assessment Documents (CICADs) are
the latest in a family of publications from the International Program
on Chemical Safety (IPCS), a cooperative program of the World Health
Organization (WHO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and
the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). CICADs join the Environmental
Health Criteria documents (EHCs) as authoritative documents on the risk
assessment of chemicals.
CICADs are concise documents that provide summaries of
the relevant scientific information concerning the potential effects
of chemicals upon human health and/or the environment. They are based
on selected national or regional evaluation documents or on existing
EHCs. Before acceptance for publication as CICADs by IPCS, these documents
undergo extensive peer review by internationally selected experts to
ensure their completeness, accuracy in the way in which the original
data are represented, and the validity of the conclusions drawn.
The primary objective of CICADs is characterization of
hazard and doseresponse from exposure to a chemical. CICADs are not
a summary of all available data on a particular chemical; rather, they
include only that information considered critical for characterization
of the risk posed by the chemical. The critical studies are, however,
presented in sufficient detail to support the conclusions drawn. For
additional information, the reader should consult the identified source
documents upon which the CICAD has been based.
Risks to human health and the environment will vary considerably
depending upon the type and extent of exposure. Responsible authorities
are strongly encouraged to characterize risk on the basis of locally
measured or predicted exposure scenarios. To assist the reader, examples
of exposure estimation and risk characterization are provided in CICADs,
whenever possible. These examples cannot be considered as representing
all possible exposure situations, but are provided as guidance only.
The reader is referred to EHC 170 for advice on the derivation of healthbased
While every effort is made to ensure that CICADs represent
the current status of knowledge, new information is being developed
constantly. Unless otherwise stated, CICADs are based on a search of
the scientific literature to the date shown in the executive summary.
In the event that a reader becomes aware of new information that would
change the conclusions drawn in a CICAD, the reader is requested to
contact the IPCS to inform it of the new information.
The procedures followed to produce a CICAD are designed to take
advantage of the expertise that exists around the worldexpertise that
is required to produce the high-quality evaluations of toxicological,
exposure, and other data that are necessary for assessing risks to human
health and/or the environment.
The first draft is based on an existing national, regional,
or international review. Authors of the first draft are usually, but
not necessarily, from the institution that developed the original review.
A standard outline has been developed to encourage consistency in form.
The first draft undergoes primary review by IPCS to ensure that it meets
the specified criteria for CICADs.
The second stage involves international peer review by
scientists known for their particular expertise and by scientists selected
from an international roster compiled by IPCS through recommendations
from IPCS national contact points and from IPCS participating institutions.
Adequate time is allowed for the selected experts to undertake a thorough
review. Authors are required to take reviewers' comments into account
and revise their draft, if necessary. The resulting second draft is
submitted to a Final Review Board together with the reviewers' comments.
The CICAD Final Review Board has several important functions:
- to ensure that each CICAD has been subjected to an appropriate
and thorough peer review;
- to verify that the peer reviewers' comments have been addressed
- to provide guidance to those responsible for the preparation of
CICADs on how to resolve any remaining issues if, in the opinion
of the Board, the author has not adequately addressed all comments
of the reviewers; and to approve CICADs as international assessments.
Board members serve in their personal capacity, not as
representatives of any organization, government, or industry. They are
selected because of their expertise in human and environmental toxicology
or because of their experience in the regulation of chemicals. Boards
are chosen according to the range of expertise required for a meeting
and the need for balanced geographic representation.
The two most recent CICADs are No. 8, Triglycidyl Isocyanurate
and No. 9, N-Phenyl-l-naphthylamine. These and other monographs in the
series are available from the World Health Organization, CH-1211 Geneva
27, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 791 4857.