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National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

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NIEHS Helps Build Capacity in Environmental Health Through WHO Chemical Risk Assessment Network

Since 2013, NIEHS has participated in development, planning, and support for the World Health Organization (WHO) Chemical Risk Assessment Network (Network). The Network was established to support global efforts to coordinate discussions, provide a forum for information exchange, and develop training opportunities in chemical risk assessment and management. Comprised of government health organizations throughout the world, the Network has grown to include 72 participating institutions from 40 countries. Network activities are overseen and supported by the WHO International Programme on Chemical Safety, and are guided by self-organized groups of experts. Current Network activities include working groups exploring:

  • Immunotoxicity associated with exposure to nanomaterials
  • A review of the application of Chemical-Specific Adjustment Factors (CSAF) in chemical risk assessment
  • A framework for systematic review (SR) in chemical risk assessment
  • A network coordinating group on Combined Exposures
  • A network coordinating group on Mode of Action

The Network and participating institutions also focus on capacity building efforts for researchers and practitioners around the world. These efforts have included supporting training fellowships, in-country trainings, and the development of a training database and a distance learning tool for risk assessment and risk management of chemicals.

NIEHS and the National Toxicology Program are active in supporting efforts to develop a framework for SR in chemical risk assessment. The SR working group hopes to debut the framework this summer when the Network meets for its second in-person meeting at the European Food Safety Authority.