Children can be more vulnerable than adults to chemicals. Considering global concern for children’s health, the OECD has been working to bring together knowledge and experiences to reduce risks to children’s health from chemicals.
It has been shown that children can be more vulnerable than adults to environmental hazards, such as those presented by chemicals, due to their physiological differences and unique behaviours. Risk assessment methodologies that specifically consider children are required to ensure that potential risks are addressed.
Following an OECD-wide survey of methodologies and tools used to assess the risk of chemicals to children’s health in 2011-2012 [ENV/JM/MONO(2013)20] and a workshop held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, on 7-8 October 2013 [ENV/JM/MONO(2014)29], the following projects are currently being carried out.
1. Decision Tree Project
A decision tree is being developed to serve as a basis for determining the need for a child-specific exposure assessment. This decision tree will also be applied to case studies related to variations in product categories, articles, uses, children’s behaviour and exposure routes.
2. Potential Follow-up Projects
Based on the progress of the decision tree project, additional projects could be launched, such as:
Assessing the risk of chemicals to children’s health: an OECD-wide survey [ENV/JM/MONO(2013)20]
This document presents the results of a survey of methodologies and tools used to assess the risk of chemicals to children’s health. It compiles currently available methodologies and tools for assessing the risk of chemicals to children’s health and also identifies possible needs for additional guidance or tools for assessing the risk of chemicals to children’s health. The following areas of risk assessment are covered: the definition of terms, hazard assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterisation, cohort studies and combined exposure to multiple chemicals.
This document presents the results of a workshop on children’s exposure to chemicals held on 7-8 October 2013 in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The main outcomes are 1) a draft decision tree to enable risk assessors to decide when they should perform a child-specific exposure and risk assessment, and 2) recommendations for further work on specific exposure assessment issues.