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An agreement with ILO regarding International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs)

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An agreement with ILO regarding International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs)

Recently Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals has signed a MoU with International Labor Organization (ILO) regarding International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs).

There are International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs) data sheets. Their purpose is to provide a summary of essential safety and health information about chemicals. The primary goal of this card is to promote the safe use of chemicals in the workplace.

ICSCs have been developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and ILO in collaboration with the European Commission. The chemical and petrochemical industries have developed rapidly.

There has been an increase in the size of chemical plants, chemical storage and transportation, especially in densely populated areas. These reasons have also led to an increase in the number and severity of chemical accidents.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the nodal ministry for the management of chemical disasters.

Provisions for dealing with chemical disasters –

  • In MC Mehta Vs Union of India (Oleum Gas Leak Case), 1986, the Supreme Court had given the ‘principle of absolute liability’.
  • According to this principle, industries engaged in hazardous or inherently hazardous activities shall be liable for compensation if any accidental leakage of toxic substances occurs.
  • A central fund by the name of Environment Relief Fund has been set up under the Public Liability Insurance Act, Immediate relief is provided to the victims from this fund.

The Central Government has also notified the following rules under the Environment Protection Act, 1987 for regulation of hazardous substances:

  • Manufacture, Storage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules, 1989 and
  • Hazardous Wastes (Management. Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules,

Source – The Hindu

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