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Global Panel on the Chemical Pollution of the Environment

Tens of thousands of naturally or synthetically produced chemicals are available on the world market. Increase in their use, in terms of volume and structural diversity, is a result of rapid global economic growth in the past decades. Poor regulation and inadequate risk assessment and management strategies have led to widespread contamination that directly impacts ecosystems and public health.

The everchanging diversity of contaminant mixtures encompassing marketed chemicals and their metabolic and degradation products poses an analytical challenge and makes cause-effect analysis in affected ecosystems difficult. However, there is growing evidence of detrimental activity in contaminated ecosystems including genotoxicity, endocrine disruption, immune system effects and antimicrobial resistance amongst other effects. According to the WHO several million human deaths annually are estimated to result from environmental degradation.

Despite technological innovation and global campaigns leading to regulation of some of the most notorious chemicals (e.g. freons or POPs), the problem of chemical pollution remains largely ignored. Pollution knows no physical, geographical, regulatory or political boundaries as evidenced by the impact of chemicals on the world’s most remote regions. This global problem requires global solutions. And yet our contemporary societies and their leaders remain deaf to the scientific community’s call for action.

GPCPE is established in response to this call. GPCPE is a panel of global pollution experts. Its ambition is to create a platform for sharing, educating and influencing, with a view to shaping actions that will tackle pollution issues globally. We aim to have representatives on each continent, in each country and region to enable global mapping of chemicals. We will provide open, independent, rigorous and balanced information to the public and decision-makers about the type and the extent of exposure that is both region driven and of global importance. GPCPE’s ultimate goal is to provide a platform for comprehensive evaluation of environmental and public health risks based on cause-effect relationship of complex chemical mixtures and exposed biological systems.

Such a platform currently does not exist, but if interconnected with an effective mitigation and risk management system, it will reduce the environmental pollution burden and contribute to environmental sustainability globally.

DOCUMENT : the initial approach that presided to the creation of the GPCPE initiative in 2017