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OCR for page 69
Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries A Statement of Task An ad hoc committee of the National Research Council will undertake the following tasks: It will produce materials (as noted below) providing guidance on a baseline of practices required to promote safety and security in their handling and use of toxic industrial chemicals (TICs) and other hazardous chemicals on the laboratory scale in the developing world. It will: Consider current safety and security practices in these countries based on information from the Department of State Chemical Security Engagement Program, and other organizations such as the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and the American Chemical Society Committee on International Affairs. Use this information to determine practices most needed and/or most readily employed in developing economies. Based on information found in Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Safe Handling and Disposal of Chemical (NAP, 1995), produce materials (booklets, CDs, or other media) that outline basic steps, feasible in developing economies, to improve chemical management best practices, including enhanced safety and security in the use, storage, and disposal of hazardous chemicals. This should include consideration of training and other “culture of safety” issues. It will examine the dual risks—in particular, the risk posed by theft and diversion of relatively small amounts of chemicals from laboratory settings—posed by TICs and other hazardous chemicals in developing
OCR for page 70
Promoting Chemical Laboratory Safety and Security in Developing Countries countries, particularly in regions where terrorism is on the rise. In its final report, it will provide guidance on a baseline of practices required to promote good chemical management practices to ensure safety and security in their handling and use in laboratories in developing world. Specifically, this study will: Examine current patterns of use and distribution of chemicals in the developing world, especially countries where terrorism is of particular concern, describing, in general terms, the types and levels of laboratory activities and their geographic distribution. Examine current safety and security practices and attitudes in laboratories based on information from the Department of State Chemical Security Engagement Program, international organizations such as the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, organizations such as the American Chemical Society Division of International Affairs and the American Chemistry Council, and members of the chemical community operating abroad, including both academic and industrial practitioners. Identify practices that provide the greatest opportunity to improve safety and security and/or practices most amenable to readily-employed mitigation techniques. Examine on-going efforts to engage chemical professionals (scientists, technicians and engineers) from the developing world with the international R&D community in order to improve best practices in chemical safety and security. Recommend basic steps, feasible in developing economies, to provide enhanced safety and security in the use, storage, and disposal of hazardous chemicals. This should include consideration of training opportunities to engage chemical professionals from developing countries in activities to improve best practices in chemical safety and security and development of long-term relationships that could foster improved security.