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Role of Engineering Toward a Better Environment: Global Environmental changes: challenges and opportunities 20-22 Dec 2008, Alexandria, Egypt H.A.M. de Kruijf PUM, Netherlands Senior Experts UNITAR, United Nations Institute for Training and research.

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climate change and chemical safety the problem

Role of Engineering Toward a Better Environment:

Global Environmental changes: challenges and opportunities

20-22 Dec 2008, Alexandria, Egypt

H.A.M. de Kruijf

PUM, Netherlands Senior Experts

UNITAR, United Nations Institute for Training and research

Climate change and chemical safety: the problem

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

acknowledgement
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This presentation is primarily based on the brochure:

MANAGING CHEMICALS IN A CHANGING CLIMATE TO PROTECT HEALTH (April 2008), and the accompanying presentation of IFCS, The Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety

author and contributors:

Katherine Shea

LilianCorra

Jenny Pronczuk

Marie-Noel Brune

Photographs, unless otherwise indicated: by the author

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety introductory remarks
Climate change and Chemical safetyintroductory remarks
  • The threat of accelerating climate change may significantly alter global and local development, and thus may also change use, distribution and degradation of chemicals in ways that could affect human health and environment.
  • Little has been published up to now addressing issues of climate change and chemical safety, in short the possible risks associated with climate change and chemicals.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety introductory remarks4
Climate change and Chemical safety introductory remarks

In the following presentations we explore

  • How climate change may alter human and environmental exposure to chemicals
  • Identify who may be particularly at risk of adverse effects
  • Suggest actions that can be taken now to reduce adverse impacts on human health and environment (by chemicals); or better: questions that should be raised to identify those actions!

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety introductory remarks5
Climate change and Chemical safetyintroductory remarks

Climate change is more than a warming trend:

  • Increasing temperatures will lead to changes in many aspects of weather, such as winds patterns, amount and type precipitation, type and frequency of severe weather events
  • Global sea level could rise, causing damage to coastal regions through flooding and erosion
  • Climate of various regions could change too quickly for many plants and animal species to adjust.
  • Harsh weather conditions , e.g. heat waves and droughts, could also happen more often and more severely

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety introductory remarks6
Climate change and Chemical safetyintroductory remarks

Climate change could affect human health, environmental health and well-being e.g.:

  • Many larger cities could experience a significant rise in the number of hot days
  • Air pollution problems would increase, placing children, the elderly and people suffering from respiratory problems at greatest risks of health effects
  • Molds and pollens may increase causing respiratory problems
  • The effects on human exposure will vary widely according to the properties of specific chemicals and chemical combinations

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide7

air

water

agricult.

soil

industr.

soil

natural

soil

sediment

emission

Advection/dispersive

diffusion

degradation

Temperature changes

precipitation

floods

Erosion, run-off

droughts

Model to calculate distribution of chemicals towards an equilibrium;

Where does CC intervene, have an impact? (adapted from: EUSES)

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety
Climate change and Chemical safety

Climate change may alter human chemical exposure… by changing how chemicals move and transform in the environment

Some examples of how these interactions may affect human exposures due to:

Extreme precipitation, storms and floods threaten water quality

Drought threatens water quality

Increased temperatures

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide9

Climate change and Chemical safetyClimate change may alter human chemical exposure… by changing how chemicals move and transform in the environment

  • Extreme precipitation, storms and floods threaten water quality:
  • By increasing urban and agricultural run-off of petrochemicals, industrial chemicals, chemical waste, pesticides and fertilizers into surface waters or enhanced through-put of supersaturated soil into groundwater; flooding of warehouses and old stockpiles of chemicals such as paints, solvents, pesticides will lead to potentially dangerous exposure situations

Examples:

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide10

Climate change and Chemical safetyClimate change may alter human chemical exposure… by changing how chemicals move and transform in the environment

Drought threatens water quality by concentration of non-volatile chemicals and toxic metals in drinking water resources.

When rain comes, parched and cracked soil may permit rapid transit of chemicals into

deep groundwater stores.

From internet

Examples:

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide11

Climate change and Chemical safetyClimate change may alter human chemical exposure… by changing how chemicals move and transform in the environment

Examples:

Increased temperatures

  • will cause volatile chemicals to disperse more quickly in the air and some chemicals will degrade more quickly potentially creating local hot spots of exposure.
  • Evaporation will be enhanced leaving non-volatile chemicals to concentrate in water bodies.
  • Global movement of persistent chemicals will be modified with changes in global water and air currents, and thus population exposures will also change.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide12

Climate change and Chemical safety

Effect of the effect of volatility on transportation distance of POP’s

CC will seriously and unpredictably change these patterns

Most volatile

Moderately volatile

Least volatile

Global movement of persistent chemicals will be modified with changes in global water and air currents, and thus population exposures will also change.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety13
Climate change and Chemical safety

Climate change may alter human chemical exposure… by changing where and how chemicals are used

  • Chemicals can be critical tools in the global response to climate change, but
  • when the world warms, chemical use patterns will likely change in several sectors and affect human exposure levels as well as environmental exposure levels.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety14
Climate change and Chemical safety

Climate change may alter human chemical exposure… by changing where and how chemicals are used

Agricultural chemicals:

CC may require changes in crop choice and lead to a perceived or actual

need to use more, different

or new chemicals to combat

pests

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide15
Climate change and Chemical safetyClimate change may alter human chemical exposure… by changing where and how chemicals are used

Example:

Agricultural chemicals:

Pesticides may lose effectiveness

or be more rapidly broken down in

warmer temperatures which could

lead to more frequent use and more

human and environmental exposure

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide16
Climate change and Chemical safetyClimate change may alter human chemical exposure… by changing where and how chemicals are used

Control of infectious disease

Increases in vector-borne diseases anticipated with climate change could stimulate more widespread use of a variety of pesticides to control insect, rodent and other disease vectors

Pharmaceutical use to treat these diseases is also likely to increase and further threaten water quality by stressing waste water treatment and downstream drinking water resources.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety17
Climate change and Chemical safety

Example of increase in vector-borne

disease and geographical movement:

the case of bluetongue

The vector: Culicoides sp. sucking blood

Bluetongue is a virus disease (reo viruses) among

cows, sheep, goats, etc transmitted by Culicoides

species. Since a few years, due to warming of the

climate the disease does now occur above

the 50th latitude. This means new regimes for

vaccination, eradication , and use of chemicals

The virus: computer model of bluetongue virus

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

From NRC Handelsblad, 01-12-2008

slide18
Climate change and Chemical safety Climate change may alter human chemical exposure… by changing where and how chemicals are used

Alternative energy sources developed and disseminated to stabilize the climate have the potential to cause large changes in chemical use patterns;

for example, the change to

bio-fuels and use of waste as

fuels could results in new

sources of chemical

contamination on a large

scale.

(And there is the question of

water versus energy!)

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety19
Climate change and Chemical safety

Climate change may make some chemicals more dangerous

Ecosystem services: some plant and animal species are more vulnerable to heat-related harm if they have prior exposure to various chemicals or are more vulnerable to chemical

exposure when stressed by the

changing climate.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety climate change may make some chemicals more dangerous
Climate change and Chemical safetyClimate change may make some chemicals more dangerous

Climate Change may give a push to invasive plants:

Due to CC more invasive plants may be seen in more temperate zones (and there are already examples)

These invasive plants appear to be more resistant to local plagues thus may more quickly turn out to be a plague themselves! And thus may well become a very serious threat to local biodiversity and water resources. This may lead to additional

use of pesticides causing risks for man and

environment.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety climate change may make some chemicals more dangerous21
Climate change and Chemical safetyClimate change may make some chemicals more dangerous

Ecosystem services;

It is possible that the adverse impact of CC on

the ecosystems that provide us with food,

fiber and useful chemicals could

be greater in a warmer global

environment!

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety climate change may make some chemicals more dangerous22
Climate change and Chemical safetyClimate change may make some chemicals more dangerous

Increased toxicity

Increased ambient temperatures may have direct impact on toxicity levels in exposed humans

  • Evidence from medicine (chemicals and fever), drugs and temperature)
  • Impact on developmental toxicity

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety climate change may make some chemicals more dangerous23
Climate change and Chemical safetyClimate change may make some chemicals more dangerous
  • Well described increased toxicity of chemicals in higher ambient temperatures under experimental conditions

It is not clear that this relationship will dominate in the complex world of multiple stressors, but it does support the arguments to minimize all chemical exposures as we seek to meet the challenges of a warming world.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide24
Climate change and Chemical safetySome groups are more vulnerableBecause of inherent characteristics…..

Age and general health affect any

individual’s ability to withstand harm

from a variety of chemical exposures.

some groups at increased risks are:

Foetuses

Children

Elderly people

Medical illness

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide25
Climate change and Chemical safetySome groups are more vulnerableBecause of inherent characteristics…..

Foetuses: are susceptible to permanent harms from even

brief exposures in utero as might happen after a water

Contamination event such as a flood, or a high dose exposure

From pesticide spraying

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide26
Climate change and Chemical safety Some groups are more vulnerableBecause of inherent characteristics…..
  • High risk children:
    • In developing countries where water and food scarcity cause wide spread malnutrition
    • Where CC will cause increased vector-borne diseases (e.g. malaria)
    • Where agriculture will require high chemical inputs
    • Where children working at jobs with potential high exposures: agriculture, rag

picking, recycling (batteries,

waste etc)

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide27
Climate change and Chemical safetySome groups are more vulnerableBecause of inherent characteristics…..
  • Elderly people may have lost the physical ability to avoid exposure and/or the physiologic capacity to withstand exposures that

may have been in younger

years relatively non-toxic.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety some groups are more vulnerable because of circumstances
Climate change and Chemical safetySome groups are more vulnerable ………………….because of circumstances

Poverty limits adaptive responses

to both climate change and chemical

exposures.

Malnutrition, particularly in the very

young, may compound and worsen

effects from any toxic chemical

exposure

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety29
Climate change and Chemical safety

Some groups are more vulnerable

…………because of circumstances

  • Geography is a major determinant of which health threats from climate change are most likely, and places entire populations at increased risk.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety30
Climate change and Chemical safety

Example:

low lying coastal communities are more susceptible to floods and storms which may be

complicated by chemical contamination of drinking water, fields, food crops, and living spaces

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety31
Climate change and Chemical safety

Some groups are more vulnerable

………………..because of circumstances

Occupationsthat involve the use of chemicals, such as agricultural work, may be increasingly risky because of increased chemical use,

change in chemicals used

and rapid development

of new chemicals

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety32
Climate change and Chemical safety

Some groups are more vulnerable

………………..because of circumstances

Public Health infrastructure, including the health care systems, as well s chemical safety laws, regulations, surveillance and enforcement, are critical to minimizing injury and illness related to CC and chemical exposures.

In those areas where these basic services are lacking, whole populations are at increased risk.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety33
Climate change and Chemical safety
  • THE FUTURE:
  • Lots of questions but answers????

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety the future

Role of Engineering Toward a Better Environment:

Global Environmental changes: challenges and opportunities

20-22 Dec 2008, Alexandria, Egypt

H.A.M. de Kruijf

PUM, UNITAR

Climate change and chemical safety: the future

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety35
Climate change and Chemical safety

Starting statements:

  • We need all tools to respond to Climate Change; this includes existing and new chemicals as well as non-chemical alternatives
  • Protecting human health and particularly the health of those who are most vulnerable, must be central part of all climate adaptive strategies including chemical use and management
  • As climate change accelerates and we feel the urgent need to both reduce emissions and respond to public health threats, it is critical that we do not loose sight of the need to strengthen and improve systems to ensure chemical safety.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety36
Climate change and Chemical safety

QUESTIONS!!!! (1)

When considering any climate-related problem, a number of questions relevant to the use of an additional chemicalfor any reasonshould be answered :

  • Will using a chemical solve this problem?
  • What is known about the toxicity and exposure to the most vulnerable humans?
  • What is known about the potential harm to ecosystem services?
  • Are there non-chemical solutions for this problem?
  • Are there multiple chemicals that could be used to solve the problem?

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide37

Ecological Risk Assessment

Discussion

Between the

Risk assessor

And

Risk manager

(Planning)

PROBLEM FORMULATION

Characterization

of

ecological

effects

Characterization

of

exposure

Data Acquisition; verification and monitoring

ANALYSIS

A systematic approach

is necessary to study

this sort of problems,

such the ecological risk

assessment system

Suter, 2007

RISK CHARACTERIZATION

Discussion between the Risk assessor and

Risk Manager (Results)

UNESCO-IHE module on Aquatic toxicology

Risk Management

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety38
Climate change and Chemical safety

QUESTIONS!!!! (2)

  • Is there equivalent information on toxicity and exposure for each alternative?
  • Which is least toxic?
  • What are relative toxicities and efficacies of the viable solutions?
  • What is unique about the location, geography, topography, level of development, or population characteristics which will affect movement and breakdown of the chemical under consideration?
  • What are critical human exposures likely to be?

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety39
Climate change and Chemical safety

QUESTIONS!!!! (3)

  • Can chemical use be minimized or eliminated over time through alternative management strategies?
  • Will use of this chemical create new or persistent problems for human health or ecosystem integrity?
  • Do we have adequate chemical safety and management systems in place?
  • Will the changing climate increase or decrease human exposure, or make this chemical more or less effective or toxic over time?

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety40
Climate change and Chemical safety

We can not say :

or:

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety41
Climate change and Chemical safety
  • What could be your role in the prevention of such hazards? Develop, work on…..
    • Measures to decrease or lower the rate of climate change!
    • Measures to adapt to the new and predicted changes: water resources management, waste management, chemicals management (industry, agriculture, pharmaceuticals) etc!
    • Measures to prevent negative health effects on humans, on the environment!
    • Measures that develop innovative new constructions where necessary !
    • Techniques for a better balance between use of limited water resources and energy production!

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety42
Climate change and Chemical safety

I

Identify the

problem

II

Develop risk

reduction

goals

VI

Implement

and evaluate

To develop strategies to solve

or at least try to solve these

Problems, one could use a

so-called Risk Reduction

Strategy Model

as developed and applied by

UNITAR

Involve

interested

and affected

parties

III

Identify and

evaluate

options

V

Double check

IV

Select risk

reduction

strategy

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety43
Climate change and Chemical safety
  • Although the relation between climate change and chemical safety has received little attention, developing ideas and working on these issues are part of an international agreement: Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM).
  • SAICM is a global policy framework to support efforts to achieve the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation goal that, by 2020, chemicals should be produced and used in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. (and that includes of course CC and chemical safety!)

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety44
Climate change and Chemical safety
  • The Dubai declaration on International Chemicals Management and the accompanying Over Arching Policy Strategy (Feb 2006) identify key elements of chemical safety which will be increasingly important within the context of global climate change.
  • The declaration stresses the need to protect vulnerable populations (including children and unborn children), promote green chemistry, and operate within a context of transparency, partnership, and accountability among all sectors of society.
  • In particular there is a call for public access to appropriate information and knowledge on chemicals throughout their life cycle, including the risks that they pose to human health and the environment.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety45
Climate change and Chemical safety
  • Risk reduction to minimize significant adverse effects on human health and the environment is the first strategic objective; How? By pollution prevention, precaution, life cycle analysis, and promotion of environmentally sound and safer chemical and non-chemical alternatives are all enumerated as strategies. (using e.g. Life Cycle Analysis, LCA)
  • Additional areas of action include optimization of knowledge and information, governance, capacity building and technical cooperation.
  • As work progresses to improve chemical management from the local to the international level, the changes in chemical risk associated with accelerating global climate change must be placed permanently on the agenda.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

slide46

RAW MATERIALS

LIFE CYCLE OF A CHEMICAL

Production

intermediates

non-isolated

SUBSTANCE 1

Processing

on site

Life cycle of a chemical

substance. Emissions to

the environment can

occur at any point in

this cycle.

Hum. Ecol. Risk Assess.

9 (1) 292, 2004

Isolation

isolated

Processing

off site

Formulation

SUBSTANCE 2

Private use

Industrial

use

Processing

processing aid

Processing

in product

Processing

processing aid

Processing

product

Use of product,

articles

Use of product,

articles

Waste

Recovery

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety47
Climate change and Chemical safety
  • In the past many chemicals have been used without sufficient knowledge and consideration of the cost to human health and ecosystem function.
  • Even now, capacities and capabilities of many countries to protect their citizens from the potential adverse effects of chemicals and soundly manage the use of chemicals, are inadequate; facing the new and expanded problems posed by climate change, these countries most certainly will be additionally challenged.

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety48
Climate change and Chemical safety
  • Information and training will be needed to ensure the sound management and use of newly developed chemicals, or existing chemicals in new locations and applications specifically under the new uncertain circumstances (CC).
  • Targeted research and application of a precautionary approach are essential to protect human health and ecosystem integrity from harm as we strive for a sustainable world; especially considering the challenges by the Climate Change

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

climate change and chemical safety49
Climate change and Chemical safety

THANK YOU!!

References can be found in the

indicated brochure as well as on

the website of IFCS:

www.ifcs.ch

The future

Source of life starts

here: beginning of the

NILE

RETBE, Alexandria, Egypt, December 2008

ad