Toward a Global Understanding of Chemical Pollution: A First Comprehensive Analysis of National and Regional Chemical Inventories

April 22, 2020
1:00 pm US Eastern Time

Chemicals, while bringing benefits to society, may be released during their lifecycles and possibly cause harm to humans and ecosystems. Driven by safety concerns, governments and stakeholders are striving to assess and manage chemicals safely throughout their lifecycles. In order to do so, it is critical to have a comprehensive understanding of chemicals on the market as a baseline of chemicals to be screened, prioritized, assessed, and possibly managed. Previous studies have focused mainly on chemical inventories from Canada, the United States, Western Europe, and some other developed countries.

During this webinar, Dr. Zhanyun Wang presented his study of 22 chemical inventories from 19 countries and regions. These chemical inventories were analyzed to achieve a comprehensive overview of chemicals on the global market as an essential first step toward a global understanding of chemical pollution. Over 350,000 chemicals and mixtures of chemicals have been registered for production and use, up to three times as many as previously estimated and with substantial differences across countries/regions. Coordinated efforts by all stakeholders including scientists from different disciplines are urgently needed, with new areas of interest and opportunities highlighted here. 


Dr. Zhanyun Wang is a senior researcher in the Ecological Systems Design Group at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. His research interests focus primarily on the lifecycles and risks of chemicals in the anthroposphere and natural environment, as well as on sound chemicals management. Dr. Wang is an author on 29 peer-reviewed articles and several reports published by OECD and UNEP. 




This webinar is one in a monthly series sponsored by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment’s EDC Strategies Partnership. The CHE EDC Strategies Partnership is chaired by Sharyle Patton (Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center), Jerry Heindel (Commonweal HEEDS, Healthy Environment and Endocrine Disruptor Strategies), and Genon Jensen (HEAL) and coordinated by Hannah Donart (Collaborative on Health and the Environment, a Commonweal program). To see a full list of past calls and webinars related to EDCs and listen to or view recordings, please visit our partnership page. 

This webinar was moderated by Sharyle Patton, Director of the Commonweal Biomonitoring Resource Center. It lasted for 30 minutes and was recorded for our call and webinar archive. If you did not have a chance to ask a question during the Q&A portion of the presentation, please submit your questions to Sharyle Patton at spatton@commonweal.org by April 29 and we will respond via email.