Management of Hazardous Chemical Substances
The Supreme Council for the Environment, represented by the Environmental Assessment and Control Directorate, has been monitoring the import, export, use and storage or dealing with chemicals used in industry and various services, given the multi-use of chemicals in various areas of modern life, especially in the industrial and domestic fields, among others, and in order to ensure the safety of humans and the environment from potential dangers resulting from using or dealing with chemicals hazards.
Among these efforts:
- Determining standards of Control of substances that deplete the Ozone Layer, according to the Ministerial Edict No (1) of 1999 on the regulations of the Control of Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Ozone-depleting substances, containing chlorine and/or bromine, remain stable in the lower atmospheric region, but as they reach the higher atmosphere (stratosphere), they undergo decomposition due to sunlight. Resulting chlorine atoms catalyze the decomposition of the ozone gas causing wide 'holes' in the protective ozone layer.
- Regulating the maintenance of equipment and buildings containing asbestos or the removal or transfer of this substance or the disposal of its residues, as stipulated by the Ministerial Edict No. (4) 1999 on Licensing to Work on the Maintenance of Equipment and Buildings Containing Asbestos. A set of environmental and administrative requirements for receiving the license to work in these areas were also put forward.
- Regulating the process of controlling the import and use of banned and severely restricted chemicals according to Ministerial Edict No. (7) of 2002 on the control of the import and use of banned and severely restricted chemical substances, and gaseous chemicals, liquid or solid, which were proven by regional and international organizations, studies, research or the competent authorities to have hazardous features. Those features are harmful to human health, animals and plants and have an adverse impact on the environment because of their toxicity, their susceptibility to explosion and ignition and the corrosion they cause. They could also pose a serious danger to public health or environment, whether on their own or when they interact with other materials.
- Determining the proper ways of handling chemicals, including procedures related to the industrial production processes, import, export, customs clearance, storage, transport and consumption, as stipulated by the Ministerial Decree No (4) of 2006 on the management of hazardous chemical substances. Such procedures are aimed at averting health risks resulting from human exposure to chemicals and avoiding environmental risks that occur in water, air or soil that may have an effect on humans, animals or plants, affect the environment and ecosystems in one way or another or limit the usual uses of environmental sources on their own or in combination.
- The Supreme Council for the Environment’s adoption of the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), according to certain procedures.