One planet: one health. A call to support the initiative on a global science–policy body on chemicals and waste

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  • Werner Brack
  • Damia Barcelo Culleres
  • Alistair B.A. Boxall
  • Hélène Budzinski
  • Sara Castiglioni
  • Adrian Covaci
  • Valeria Dulio
  • Beate I. Escher
  • Peter Fantke
  • Faith Kandie
  • Despo Fatta-Kassinos
  • Félix J. Hernández
  • Klara Hilscherová
  • Juliane Hollender
  • Henner Hollert
  • Annika Jahnke
  • Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern
  • Stuart J. Khan
  • Andreas Kortenkamp
  • Brice Lalonde
  • Marja H. Lamoree
  • Yves Levi
  • Pablo Antonio Lara Martín
  • Cassiana C. Montagner
  • Christian Mougin
  • Titus Msagati
  • Jörg Oehlmann
  • Leo Posthuma
  • Malcolm Reid
  • Martin Reinhard
  • Susan D. Richardson
  • Pawel Rostkowski
  • Emma Schymanski
  • Flurina Schneider
  • Jaroslav Slobodnik
  • Yasuyuki Shibata
  • Shane Allen Snyder
  • Fernando Fabriz Sodré
  • Ivana Teodorovic
  • Kevin V. Thomas
  • Gisela A. Umbuzeiro
  • Pham Hung Viet
  • Karina Gin Yew-Hoong
  • Xiaowei Zhang
  • Ettore Zuccato

The chemical pollution crisis severely threatens human and environmental health globally. To tackle this challenge the establishment of an overarching international science–policy body has recently been suggested. We strongly support this initiative based on the awareness that humanity has already likely left the safe operating space within planetary boundaries for novel entities including chemical pollution. Immediate action is essential and needs to be informed by sound scientific knowledge and data compiled and critically evaluated by an overarching science–policy interface body. Major challenges for such a body are (i) to foster global knowledge production on exposure, impacts and governance going beyond data-rich regions (e.g., Europe and North America), (ii) to cover the entirety of hazardous chemicals, mixtures and wastes, (iii) to follow a one-health perspective considering the risks posed by chemicals and waste on ecosystem and human health, and (iv) to strive for solution-oriented assessments based on systems thinking. Based on multiple evidence on urgent action on a global scale, we call scientists and practitioners to mobilize their scientific networks and to intensify science–policy interaction with national governments to support the negotiations on the establishment of an intergovernmental body based on scientific knowledge explaining the anticipated benefit for human and environmental health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalEnvironmental Sciences Europe
Issue number1
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
All authors thank multiple funding agencies and their institutes for long-term support in fundamental and applied research on chemical pollution.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Chemical pollution, One-health perspective, Planetary boundaries, Science–policy body on chemicals, Systems thinking
  • Chemistry