Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No.1, January 1999

1999, Vol. 21
No. 1 (January)
..Chemistry in Africa
..News from IUPAC
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..Provisional Recommendations
..New Books
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Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No. 1
January 1999

New Books and Publications

New Publications from the World Health Organization

Concise International Chemical Assessment Documents (CICADs)
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 guidance values.

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.

Procedures
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 appropriately;
  • 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.

 

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