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Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly update on chemicals

Last month the World Health Assembly approved a resolution on the health sector’s role in the sound management of chemicals. Delegates reconfirmed their commitment to ensuring chemicals are used and produced in ways that minimise significant adverse effects on human health and the environment by 2020.

Chemicals contribute to the global economy, living standards and health, but poor management also contributes significantly to the global burden of disease and death, particularly in developing countries. Worldwide, 1.3 million lives are lost every year due to exposures to chemicals, such as lead and pesticides and this is most likely an underestimate.

The recent World Health Assembly resolution urges Member States to strengthen international cooperation, through transferring expertise, technologies and scientific data, as well as exchanging good practices to manage chemicals and waste.

The resolution asks the WHO Secretariat to develop and present to the 17th World Health Assembly a road map outlining concrete actions to enhance the health sector engagement towards meeting the 2020 goal and associated targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also requests the Secretariat to develop a report on the impacts of waste on health and actions the health sector could take to protect it.

Delegates at the World Health Assembly also agreed resolutions and decisions on air pollution, the health workforce, childhood obesity, violence, non-communicable diseases, and the election of the next Director-General.

Read the article in our May newsflash here.

Originally posted on 1 July 2016

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