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International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemical (decision 13/31)

The Committee approved a draft decision submitted by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as revised by the sponsor. Introducing the draft, the representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic highlighted the increase in the damage caused to the health on man and the environment by the uncontrolled use of and trade in toxic substances, unreliable methods for their disposal, the transfer of imperfect technolgy, and the failure to develop the appropriate legislative provisions. The marked increase in reports of damage and ill effects involving chemical substances was due not so much to improved information as to real growth in the incidence of chemical pollution. The tragedy of the mass poisoning of the population of Bhopal, India, was only one of the links in a long chain of disasters. Thus is was becoming increasingly evident that it was essential to strengthen regulatory action by all competent international, essential to strengthen regulatory action by all competent international, intergovernmental and national organizations and institutions to deal with the largely uncontrolled process of increasing chemical pollution of the environment.

In plenary, The Executive Director said it was his understanding that the increase referred to in paragraph 5 of the decision was over and above the appropriation approved by the Governing Council for the health and human settlements budget line.