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Document RC-48

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Document RC-48 ...

UNITED

    NATIONS RC

     UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/8

     Distr.: General

    19 March 2008

    Original: English

    United Nations

    Environment Programme

    Food and Agriculture Organization

    of the United Nations

    Rotterdam Convention on the Prior

    Informed Consent Procedure for Certain

    Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in

    International Trade

    Conference of the Parties

    Fourth meeting

    Rome, 2731 October 2008

    ?Item 5 (e) of the provisional agenda

    Implementation of the Convention: consideration of a chemical for inclusion

    in Annex III of the Convention: chrysotile asbestos

    Inclusion of the chemical chrysotile asbestos in Annex III of the

    Rotterdam Convention

    Note by the Secretariat

    Introduction

    1. By paragraph 1 of its decision RC-3/3 (attached as annex I to the present note), on the inclusion

    of chrysotile asbestos in Annex III of the Convention, the Conference of the Parties decided that the

    agenda for the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties would include the further consideration

    of a draft decision to amend Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention to include the following chemical:

    Chemical Relevant CAS number(s) Category

    Chrysotile asbestos 12001295 Industrial

    2. In follow up to the above-mentioned decision, the draft decision and decision guidance

    document on chrysotile asbestos (UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.3/11), which were presented at the third

    meeting of the Conference of the Parties, are attached as annex II to the present note for consideration

    by the Conference of the Parties at its fourth meeting.

    ? UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/1.

K0840126 160408

    For reasons of economy, this document is printed in a limited number. Delegates are kindly requested to bring their copies to meetings and not to request additional copies.

    UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/8

    Annex I

    RC-3/3: Inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in Annex III to the

    Convention

    The Conference of the Parties,

    Noting with appreciation the work of the Chemical Review Committee in its consideration of chrysotile asbestos, in particular the technical quality and comprehensiveness of the draft decision

    guidance document,

    Having considered the recommendation of the Chemical Review Committee to make chrysotile asbestos subject to the prior informed consent procedure and accordingly to list it in Annex III to the

    Rotterdam Convention,

    Taking into account that the Conference of the Parties is not yet able to reach consensus on whether to list chrysotile asbestos,

    Aware that the failure to reach consensus so far has created concerns in many Parties,

    1. Decides that the agenda for the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties shall include further consideration of a draft decision to amend Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention to

    include the following chemical:

    Chemical Relevant CAS number(s) Category Industrial -Chrysotile asbestos 12001295

    2. Decides that the requirements set out in article 5, including the criteria set out in Annex II to the Convention as referenced in paragraph 6 of article 5 of the Convention, the requirements set out

    in paragraph 1 of article 7 of the Convention and the requirements set out in the first sentence of

    paragraph 2 of Article 7 of the Convention on the process for listing in Annex III to the Convention,

    have been met;

    3. Encourages Parties to make use of all available information on chrysotile asbestos to assist others, in particular developing countries and countries with economies in transition, to make

    informed decisions regarding the import and management of chrysotile asbestos and to inform other

    Parties of those decisions using the information exchange provisions laid down in Article 14.

     2

    UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/8

Annex II

    UNITED

    RC NATIONS

     UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.3/11

     Distr.: General

    9 March 2006

    Original: English

     United Nations

    Environment Programme

     Food and Agriculture Organization

    of the United Nations

Rotterdam Convention on the Prior

    Informed Consent Procedure for Certain

    Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in

    International Trade

    Conference of the Parties

    Third meeting

    Geneva, 913 October 2006 ?Item 5 (e) of the provisional agenda

    Implementation of the Convention:

    Consideration of a chemical for inclusion in

    Annex III of the Convention: chrysotile asbestos

    Inclusion of the chemical chrysotile asbestos in Annex III of the

    Rotterdam Convention

    Note by the secretariat

    Introduction

    3. Paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 7 of the Rotterdam Convention reads as follows:

    ―1. For each chemical that the Chemical Review Committee has decided to

    recommend for listing in Annex III, it shall prepare a draft decision guidance

    document. The decision guidance document should, at a minimum, be based on

    the information specified in Annex I, or, as the case may be, Annex IV, and

    include information on uses of the chemical in a category other than the category

    for which the final regulatory action applies.

    2. The recommendation referred to in paragraph 1 together with the draft

    decision guidance document shall be forwarded to the Conference of the Parties.

    The Conference of the Parties shall decide whether the chemical should be made

    subject to the Prior Informed Consent procedure and, accordingly, list the

    chemical in Annex III and approve the draft decision guidance document.

    ? UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.3/1.

     3

    UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/8

    4. Paragraph 5, subparagraph (a), of Article 22 states that ―amendments to Annex III shall be proposed and adopted according to the procedure laid down in Articles 5 to 9 and paragraph 2 of

    Article 21‖. Paragraph 2 of Article 21 reads as follows:

    ―Amendments to this Convention shall be adopted at a meeting of the

    Conference of the Parties. The text of any proposed amendment shall be

    communicated to the Parties by the Secretariat at least six months before the

    meeting at which it is proposed for adoption. The Secretariat shall also

    communicate the proposed amendment to the signatories of this Convention and,

    for information, to the Depositary.‖

    5. At its first meeting, the Chemical Review Committee reviewed the notifications of final regulatory action for chrysotile asbestos from the European Community, Chile and Australia, including

    the supporting documentation referenced therein, and, taking into account each of the specific

    requirements set forth in Annex II of the Rotterdam Convention, concluded that the requirements of that

    Annex had been met. Accordingly, the Committee agreed to recommend to the Conference of the

    Parties that chrysotile asbestos should be listed in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention, and 1 proceeded to draft a decision guidance document.

    6. At its second meeting, the Chemical Review Committee finalised the draft decision guidance document and decided to forward it and the recommendation for inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in

    Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention to the Conference of the Parties for consideration at its third

    meeting (UNEP/FAO/RC/CRC.2/20, annex I). In accordance with decision RC-2/2, on the process for

    the preparation of decision guidance documents, the text of that recommendation, a summary of the

    Chemical Review Committee‘s deliberations including a rationale based on the criteria listed in

    Annex II and a tabular summary of comments received on the draft decision guidance document and

    how they were addressed are attached as annexes II, III and IV to the present note. The draft decision

    guidance document itself is attached as annex V.

    7. In deciding to finalize the draft decision guidance document for chrysotile asbestos, the Chemical Review Committee also decided to make available to the Conference of the Parties, if

    available, the full report of the World Health Organization workshop on mechanisms of fibre

    carcinogenesis and assessment of chrysotile asbestos substitutes. That report will be made available as

    an information document when finalized.

    8. The Chemical Review Committee also decided to encourage the review of information exchange mechanisms by the Conference of the Parties at its third meeting. That is scheduled to be

    considered under item 6 (i) of the provisional agenda.

    9. Additionally, the Chemical Review Committee decided to forward the issue of the status of previously considered notifications to the Conference of the Parties for its consideration. That issue has

    been incorporated into the paper on issues arising out of the work of the Chemical Review Committee

    (UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.3/8), to be considered under item 5 (d) of the provisional agenda.

    10. In accordance with the time frame specified in paragraph 2 of article 21 of the Rotterdam Convention, the secretariat circulated the present note, including the text of the proposed amendment

    annexed hereto, on 31 March 2006.

    Suggested action by the Conference of the Parties

    11. The Conference of the Parties may wish, by adopting the annexed draft decision, to amend Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention in accordance with the provisions of article 7 to include

    chrysotile asbestos. The Conference of the Parties may also wish to approve the draft decision guidance

    document forwarded by the Chemical Review Committee

     1 See document UNEP/FAO/CRC.1/28, paras. 90102 and annex I.

     4

    UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/8

    Annex I to document UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.3/11 Draft decision of the third meeting of the Conference of the Parties on

    the inclusion of chrysotile asbestos in Annex III of the Rotterdam

    Convention

    The Conference of the Parties,

    Noting with appreciation the work of the Chemical Review Committee,

    Having considered the recommendation of the Chemical Review Committee to make chrysotile

    asbestos subject to the prior informed consent procedure and accordingly to list it in Annex III of the

    Rotterdam Convention,

    Satisfied that all the requirements for listing in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention have

    been met,

    1. Decides to amend Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention to include the following

    chemical:

    Chemical Relevant CAS number(s) Category Chrysotile asbestos Industrial 12001295

    2. Decides that this amendment shall enter into force for all Parties on [1 February 2006].

     5

    UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/8

    Annex II to document UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.3/11

    Recommendation to the Conference of the Parties on the

    decision-guidance document for chrysotile asbestos

    The Chemical Review Committee,

    Recalling its decision by consensus, at its first session, in accordance with paragraph 6 of Article 5 of the Convention, to recommend to the Conference of Parties that it should include chrysotile

    asbestos in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention,

    Recalling paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 7 of the Convention,

    Decides, in the light of the past practice for drafting decision-guidance documents, to agree on the draft text of the decision-guidance document on chrysotile asbestos, for forwarding to the

    Conference of Parties with the understanding:

    (a) That the full report of the World Health Organization workshop on mechanism of fibre

    carcinogenesis and assessment of chrysotile asbestos substitutes will be made available to the

    Conference of the Parties;

    (b) That the Conference of the Parties will review the mechanisms under the Convention

    that provide for information exchange, such as those under Articles 7 and 14 and the clearing-house

    mechanism, which could address the issue of whether information on alternatives and comparative

    evaluation of alternatives and chrysotile should be included;

    (c) That the Chemical; Review Committee will forward the issue of the status of previously considered notifications to the Conference of the Parties for its consideration.

     6

    UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/8

    Annex III to document UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.3/11

    Rationale for the recommendation that chrysotile asbestos

    (CAS No. 12001-29-5) should become subject to the prior informed

    consent procedure and to establish an intersessional drafting group to prepare a draft decision guidance document

    1. In reviewing the notifications of final regulatory action by the European Community to ban chrysotile asbestos and the notifications by Australia and Chile to severely restrict chrysotile asbestos, together with the supporting documentary information provided by those Parties, the Chemical Review Committee was able to confirm that the regulatory actions had been taken in order to protect human health. The European Community action was based on a risk evaluation made by an independent scientific committee. Its conclusions were that chrysotile asbestos was carcinogenic to humans and that there was no threshold of exposure below which asbestos did not pose carcinogenic risks. The Chilean regulatory action was taken on the basis of a review of the health effects of chrysotile asbestos, the evaluation of occupational exposure and the fact that there were no thresholds for the carcinogenic effect of chrysotile asbestos. The basis of the Australian regulatory action was human health risk assessments, taken at national and state level that focused on the occupational, public health and environmental risks associated with current uses and applications in Australia. It was noted by Australia that chrysotile asbestos was classified as a known carcinogen and human exposure was associated with an excessive risk of asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. Among other references, the notifications from Australia, Chile and the European Community referred to Environmental Health Criterion No. 203 (IPCS 1998).

    2. The Committee established that the final regulatory actions had been taken on the basis of risk evaluations and that those evaluations had been based on a review of scientific data. The available documentation demonstrated that the data had been generated in accordance with scientifically recognized methods, and that the data reviews had been performed and documented in accordance with generally recognized scientific principles and procedures. It also showed that the final regulatory actions had been based on chemical-specific risk evaluations taking into account the conditions of exposure within the European Community, Chile and Australia.

    3. The Committee concluded that the final regulatory actions provided a sufficiently broad basis to merit including chrysotile asbestos in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention in the industrial chemical category. It noted that those actions by Australia, Chile and the European Community would lead to a significant decrease in the quantities and uses of chrysotile asbestos and the risks for human health in each notifying Party were expected to be significantly reduced.

    4. There was no indication that there were any pesticidal uses for chrysotile asbestos. The Committee also took into account that the considerations underlying the final regulatory actions were not of limited applicability but of broader relevance since the effects on human health arising from exposure to chrysotile would be relevant in any country where it was used. On the basis of information provided to the members of the Chemical Review Committee and other relevant information, the Committee concluded that there was ongoing international trade in chrysotile asbestos. 5. The Committee noted that the final regulatory actions were not based on concerns about intentional misuse of chrysotile asbestos.

    6. The Committee at its first meeting concluded that the notifications of final regulatory actions by Australia, Chile and the European Community met the information requirements of Annex I and the criteria set out in Annex II to the Convention. It was recommended that chrysotile asbestos be included in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention as an industrial chemical.

     7

    UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/8

    Annex IV to document UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.3/11

    2Tabular summary of comments and how they were addressed

    Area of the document Author Comment How dealt with

    Thailand Many chemicals have harmful effects. The criteria for selecting and The introduction to the DGD states the

    prioritizing chemicals for inclusion should be stated. basis for inclusion being a ban or severe

    restriction by two or more Parties.

     Thailand Information is based on health and environment concerns without interest in Inclusion in the RC does not prevent trade,

    trade, while the alternatives are of lower quality and more expensive. as countries can still continue to import the

    substance. The DGD provides information

    on the health and environmental effects of

    the substance to allow an informed

    decision. Risk assessment

     Thailand The DGD presents risk assessment without any information on hazard, and Annex I presents the hazard information in

    no information on how to expose safely. some detail. Exposures are also

    summarized. Reduction of exposure is

    referenced from Australia, EC and general

    controls, which included wetting to reduce

    dust, and a reference to ILO.

     Thailand The difference in use and risk between dry climates and humid conditions is The DGD is based primarily on the

    not referenced in the DGD. information contained in the notifications

    from Australia, Chile and the EC. If this

    issue was not drawn out in these

    assessments, it is not included. Additional

    information of this type could be published

    on the RC website. Epidemiology

     Thailand Disease monitoring was based on old information when asbestos still The epidemiological studies cited were

    contained amphibole, whereas now the asbestos contains serpentine forms those available, and which were used by

    only. the countries and WHO to take their

    decisions. Application

     Thailand The information on hazard resulted in bans or severe restrictions. Good The treatment of cancer patients is not

    health care can prevent the formation of free radicals in the body, and cancer covered in the DGD. The notifications

    patients can survive for a long time. were taken to decrease the incidence of

    diseases (including cancer) in the

    population of the notifying countries.

     2 Source: document UNEP/FAO/RC/CRC.2/INF/6, annex.

     8

    UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/8

    Area of the document Author Comment How dealt with 1. Identification and Canada In the reference to the Australian regulation is stated: ‗Chrysotile is also used This is taken directly from the Australian uses uses in regulated in blades in high vacuum pumps, asbestos yarn for packing, asbestos gloves notification as cited in the NICNAS category and asbestos washers‘. Chrysotile PEC report.

    The Canadian request is to change the end of this sentence to read ‗vacuum

    pumps, yarn for packing, gloves and washers.‘

    Section 2.2, Chile Canada Reference is made to the ‗asbestos cement industry‘ in the second line asbestos cement industry‖ and ―workers notification request this to be changed to the ‗chrysotile cement industry‘. Also in the who handle asbestos fibres‖ are direct

    third line reference is made to ‗workers who handle asbestos fibres‘ quotes from the Notification of Final

     request this to be changed to chrysotile fibres.Regulatory Action. Therefore, no change.

    3.3 Alternatives Chile Canada Similar comments relating to the replacement of asbestos with chrysotile. This is a direct quote from the Notification notification of Final Regulatory Action. Therefore, no

    change.

    3.4 Socio-economic Canada Line two refers to ‗asbestos cement products‘ replacement of this with This is a direct quote from the Notification effects European chrysotile cement products is requested. of Final Regulatory Action. Therefore, no Community change. For same reason and to ensure

    consistency words ‗to chrysotile‘ after

    ‗alternatives in line three deleted. 4.5 Waste management Canada Refers to ‗All forms of asbestos may be recovered from waste slurries‘. Changed as suggested to: ―Chrysotile

    Request that this be amended to ‗Chrysotile asbestos may be recovered from asbestos may be recovered from waste

    waste slurries‘ as the document is designed to refer to chrysotile specifically, slurries‖.

    not to all forms of asbestos.

    Introduction to Annex Canada The fifth line refers to regulatory actions banning asbestos request that this Changed as suggested to: ―regulatory I be amended to ‗regulatory actions banning chrysotile asbestos‘. actions banning chrysotile asbestos‖. Annex 1, 2.4 para. 1, Canada Refers to ‗known human health effects of asbestos‘ request that this be Changed as suggested to: ―known human line 1 changed to ‗of chrysotile asbestos‘ to maintain the specificity of the health effects of chrysotile asbestos‖.

    document.

    Annex 1, 2.5.2 paras 1 Canada Make general references to asbestos would prefer to see specific chrysotile This information is drawn directly from and 2 information. the EHC document, and is cited as in the

    original document. Annex 1 2.5.3 Canada Para. 1 contains a number of references to ‗asbestos‘ It is preferred that these This information is drawn directly from mesothelioma be specific references to ‗chrysotile asbestos. the IARC document, and is cited as in the

    original document. Annex I 2.6 Canada There are a number of references to ‗asbestos‘ in this paragraph. It is This information is drawn directly from

    requested that these be changed to read ‗chrysotile asbestos‘. the EHC document, and is cited as in the

    original document. Annex I, 3.1 Canada It is requested that references to asbestos be changed to chrysotile asbestos. This information is drawn directly from

    the EHC document, and is cited as in the

    original document. Annex I, 3.3 Canada It is requested that the reference to ‗asbestos cement pipe‘ be changed to This information is drawn directly from

    ‗chrysotile cement pipe‘. Also, the reference to an association ‗between the EHC document, and is cited as in the

    asbestos in public water supplies‘ should be changed to ‗chrysotile in public original document.

    water supplies‘.

     9

    UNEP/FAO/RC/COP.4/8

    Area of the document Author Comment How dealt with Annex I 3.4 Canada Para. 2 contains a reference to asbestos cement request this be changed to This information is drawn directly from

    chrysotile cement. the EHC document, and is cited as in the

    Para. 3 refers to asbestos-containing products request that this be amended original document. Citation of IPCS

    to chrysotile-containing products. (1998) added. Annex I 3.4 Canada Both the European and Chilean description of the notification refer to This information is drawn directly from

    asbestos rather than chrysotile. While it is recognized that these notifications the Chilean and EC Notifications of Final

    were made on all forms of asbestos, for the purpose of the DGD on Regulatory Action. Therefore, no change.

    chrysotile it is requested that the references be limited to chrysotile asbestos. Annex I 3.5 Canada Para. 1 refers to asbestos cement products request this be changed to This information is drawn directly from

    chrysotile cement products. the EHC document, and is cited as in the

    original document.

     Canada Chile notification refers to the release of fibres from asbestos in a cement This information is drawn directly from

    matrix request that this be changed to chrysotile in a cement matrix. the notification, and is cited as in the

    original document. Annex I, 3.6 Canada Para. 1 refers to friable asbestos-containing materials request that this be This information is drawn directly from

    changed to friable chrysotile asbestos-containing materials the EHC document, and is cited as in the

     original document.

    Para. 2 also refers to asbestos-containing materials similar change Changed as suggested.

    requested.

     This information is drawn directly from

    Para. 4 refers to assessing the risk to the public from asbestos exposure the EHC document, and is cited as in the

    similar change requested. original document. Annex I, 3.6 Canada Para. 7 refers to ‗low asbestos levels‘ request that this be changed to ‗low This information is drawn directly from

    chrysotile asbestos levels‘. the NICNAS document, and is cited as in

    the original document.

     10

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