Helsinki Chemicals Forum (HCF) is an independent non-profit forum aimed at promoting chemicals safety and chemicals management globally through an annual conference in Helsinki, the home city of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). It is financially supported by the City of Helsinki and different Ministries of Finland and logistically supported by the Finnish Fair Corporation. The annual conference in Helsinki is built around high-profile panels and keynote presentations as well as related debates. The themes for the two-day seminar are selected for their global relevance and topicality by the HCF Programme Committee that brings together representatives from stakeholders in chemicals regulation from the most developed countries. The Advisory Board validates the programme and advises the Secretary General – Geert Dancet, former Executive Director of ECHA - in his leadership role.
The 11th HCF Conference in 2019 was held on 23rd, 24th May. It also offered an on-site visit to the modern waste water treatment plant of Helsinki on 24 May and an excursion to the recycling plant of Fortum in Riihimäki and the City of Hämenlinna on 25 May. As before, the conference gathered specialist from many different countries to Messukeskus Helsinki, Finland. The conference was engaging international authorities, politicians, industry leaders, consultants, NGOs, academics, the media and specialists interested in global chemical safety management. The conference was preceded by the ECHA conference on safer chemicals of 21-22 May and was followed by the annual SETAC Conference in Helsinki of 26-30 May.
For further information, please browse HCF official website: https://helsinkichemicalsforum.messukeskus.com/
How to choose the best possible risk management option to regulate substances of very high concern
The European Union is using a mix of different instruments – authorization, restriction, occupational exposure limits – to reduce risks of chemicals of concern. What are the pros and cons for each of them and how do other regulatory authorities manage unacceptable risks of such chemicals
Grouping of chemical substances and how to avoid regrettable substitution
Regulators and stakeholders have expressed growing interest in grouping ‘similar chemicals’ in order to speed up risk assessment and management and prevent inadvertently substituting one problem chemical with another. But there is no consistency in the way grouping is carried out globally.
How to measure the performance of different chemical management systems
What are meaningful indicators to measure success? Do different stakeholders measure success diffferently? What needs to be measured over time? What is the cost of action or inaction? How to assess value for money of the different regulatory systems?
Plastics and circularity – from pollution to a value based proposition for all
There are many facts of the plastics agenda and it goes well beyond the plastic pollution in oceans and rivers. Ultimately the marine plastics / litter issue is an impact from the failure to adopt a circular approach to plastics use. Plastics have a chemical production, usage pattern and waste management issue. When the cycle fails plastics reach the sea and have the impacts we now see. The focus of this panel should be on plastic use and phase out where possible (alternatives) at the national level coupled with education of the public and waste producers on sorting and segregation of plastics at the point of production. The panel will also cover the future opportunity of the collection, processing and use of plastic waste as a secondary resource. This involves taking into account existing standards and encouraging countries to adopt and implement policies on waste collection at urban and industrial sites, coupled with providing incentives for industries to generate revenue from the waste. The discussion will also touch on how new technologies can also produce hydrocarbon plastic feedstock which can re-enter the value chain.
The quality of and access to data on chemicals
The amount of data being available on chemical substance in commerce is continuously rising, even though the quality of the data is of varying (or unknown) quality. This rise creates challenges relating to competing demands for this data, from actors with competing interests (such as regulators, companies, downstream users, researchers, consumers). It is also important to acknowledge that while the amount of data is on a constant rise, data and information gaps still exists or is not acted upon. This situation also creates important challenges to handle that vast amount of data in terms of format/IT, reliability, analysis and subsequent actions,. How to ensure that relevant actors have access to the data they need of the right quality and that this data is adequately acted upon to limit the environmental and human health impacts of substances on the market