Towards a European Chemicals Information System: a survey on reported monitoring activities of chemicals in Europe

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This report presents the outline and results of a project which collected information on monitoring activities in the 32 EEA member countries. In addition, a framework is proposed on the potential structure of a multi-purpose European chemicals information system where a database on monitoring activities would constitute one element. The system could be used as a tool in support of EU chemicals and environmental legislation.

The need for setting up a multi-purpose European chemicals information system that can be used as a tool in support of the current legislation of chemical substances within the EU has been expressed by various stakeholders within the EU. A database on monitoring activities in Europe is one of the elements of a chemicals information system. This report gives an overview of the approaches and the results of a project aimed at collecting information on monitoring activities in the 31 countries associated with the European Environment Agency, and Switzerland (1).

The information obtained is gathered in a database that is made available for outside users. The main finding of the study is that, with the exception of the air compartment, the information obtained on monitoring in the various environmental compartments across Europe is to be classified as patchy in nature. The background to this observed lack of information is manifold. In some countries the data are simply not available, while in other countries cooperation was insufficient. Also, in some countries the information is available but a more coordinated action at the national level is needed to gather the information. Thus, further efforts will be needed to complement the information in the database. The current information in the database is recommended for use as a tool to promote further cooperation with respect to lacking data.

In addition to reporting on the contents of the information collected, an outlook is given on potential applications of the database structure and the information collected.

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