More than 50 companies and government bodies have submitted submissions to the federal government about how to identify and address the harmful effects of the highly toxic chemicals known as toxics, according to documents released this week.
In the submissions, which have been made public by the federal health department, the Australian Chemicals Classification Authority and the Australian National Institute of Health and Welfare (ANIHW), the federal agencies work together to identify the chemical compounds in our environment that can be toxic to humans and animals.
Some of the chemicals identified in the submissions are known to cause health problems, including mercury, cadmium and arsenic.
The chemicals are also known to pose a risk to people with genetic and other health conditions.
“It’s not a panacea,” said Dr Lisa Brown, a professor of health policy at the University of Sydney and one of the authors of the ANIHG submission.
However, she said, the submission showed that the government was taking seriously the health concerns surrounding the chemicals.
“The submissions show the government is aware of the issue, and they are working with industry to address the problem,” she said.
For more than 50 years, the chemical industry has been fighting for tighter regulation of toxics.
But, as with the toxic chemicals, the industry has also been grappling with the potential risks of introducing stricter laws.
Since 2006, the Federal Government has sought to regulate the use of toxic chemicals and has taken the lead on introducing legislation in the states.
But the industry’s fight against regulation has not been as successful.
The submission from ANIW, for example, noted that the introduction of more stringent toxic chemicals legislation has had a “minimal impact” on the use and supply of toxically contaminated chemicals, with the exception of arsenic, mercury and cadmias.
More recently, in 2016, the ACT and the Northern Territory introduced strict legislation, which has resulted in an increase in the amount of toxic chemicals used in their industries.
The chemicals have also been blamed for the increase in deaths from coronavirus.
These problems have been exacerbated by the increased use of highly toxic, carcinogenic benzene, a compound found in many plastics and paints, as well as mercury, arsenic and cadma.
Experts are worried about the potential for increased use and production of toxica-contaminated products, with one Australian company, Alcoa, citing the risks of increased use in the manufacturing of certain industrial chemicals.
The chemical industry is now lobbying to have tougher toxic laws in place.
“We need to be able to identify those toxic chemicals that are potentially dangerous to human health,” ANIK said in its submission.
“The ANIHK submission points to the need to require the submission of chemical toxicity reports by companies and regulators to identify any potentially hazardous chemicals.
If we can’t do that, we can at least make sure we know what is actually in our water and how we can protect ourselves.””
Our industry needs to work together with government to ensure that toxic chemicals are properly regulated,” the ANRU said in a submission.”
This will help reduce the number of people affected by the risk of toxic chemical exposures, as it will be much more difficult for individuals to become exposed to toxic chemicals.”