Lab Canada

Forum probes issues facing international chemical industry

Helsinki, Finland – Each year, the Helsinki Chemicals Forum (HCF) brings together senior executives, policy makers, academics and others from around the world to discuss key issues relating to chemicals safety and management. First launched a decade ago as a forum to examine the issues arising from Europe’s ambitious REACH chemical safety regulations, the think-tank continues to stimulate discussion about the impact these regulations – and similar regulatory frameworks around the world – are having on the international chemicals industry.

“The Helsinki Chemicals Forum is an informative and inspiring gathering concerned with current and relevant issues in chemical safety,” says Dr. Paul-Michael Bever, senior manager, industry advocacy & environmental policy, BASF. “The forum brings a variety of stakeholders into dialogue inside and – even more importantly – outside the conference room.”

The next HCF takes place on May 28-29 2015, in Helsinki. This year’s program looks at the issues surrounding a globally harmonized system on classification and labelling, substitution of hazardous chemicals, improving communications in the supply chain, green chemistry and a workshop covering the business case for sound chemicals management, among other topics. Environment Canada’s Jake Sanderson will act as moderator for a session that will examine key lessons learned and best practices governing alternative chemicals substitutions.

“The program of this year’s Helsinki Chemicals Forum tells us that [the] quest to find an ever-better regulatory approach to protecting human health and the environment cannot end soon. Its forward-looking panel discussions point out manifold scientific challenges that technical progress entails,” says Geert Dancet, executive director of ECHA, the organization which manages the implementation of REACH.

In conjunction with HCF, the 10th Stakeholders Day is being hosted by ECHA on May 27 at its headquarters in Helsinki. The conference offers participants the chance to hear the latest news and updates from ECHA, European industry associations and NGOs.